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S. G. & E. L. ELBERT 



LOOKING TOWARD SUNSET 



From Sources Old and New, Original 

and Selected. 



By L. MARIA CHILD 



"When the Sun is setting, cool fall its gleams upon the earth, and 
the shadows lengthen; but they all point toward the Morning." 

Jean Paul Richter. 

" I am fully convinced that the Soul is indestructible, and that its 

activity will continue through eternity. It is like the Sun, 

which, to our eyes, seems to set in night ; but it has 

in reality only gone to diffuse its light 

elsewhere." — Goethe. 




BOSTON: 
TICKNOR AND FIELDS 

1865. 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1864, by 

L. MARIA CHILD, 

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts. 



SECOND EDITION 



University Press: 

Welch, Bigelow, and Company, 

Cambridge. 




TO 

MY DEAR AND HONORED FRIENDS, 

Miss LUCY OSGOOD 

AND 

Miss HENRIETTA SARGENT, 

This Vohtme 

IS AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED, 

IN TOKEN OF GRATITUDE FOR THEIR EXAMPLE, 

WHICH CONFERS BEAUTY AND DIGNITY ON DECLINING YEARS, 

BY ACTIVE USEFULNESS AND KINDLY SYMPATHY 

WITH THE HUMAN RACE. 




Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 201-2 with funding from 

Boston Library Consortium Member Libraries 



http://archive.org/details/lookingtowardsunOOchil 



PREFACE. 




OCCASIONALLY meet people who 
say to me, " I had many a pleasant 
£ hour, in my childhood, reading your 
Juvenile Miscellany ; and now I am enjoying 
it over again, with my own little folks." 

Such remarks remind me that I have been a 
long time in the world ; but if a few acknowl- 
edge me as the household friend of two genera- 
tions, it is a pleasant assurance that I have not 
lived altogether in vain. 

When I was myself near the fairy-land of 
childhood, I used my pen for the pleasure of 
children ; and now that I am travelling down 
the hill I was then ascending, I would fain give 
some words of consolation and cheer to my 
companions on the way. If the rays of my 
morning have helped to germinate seeds that 
ripened into flowers and fruit, I am grateful to 



vi PREFACE. 

Him, from whom all light and warmth proceeds. 
And now I reverently ask His blessing on this 
attempt to imitate, in my humble way, the set- 
ting rays of that great luminary, which throws 
cheerful gleams into so many lonely old homes, 
which kindles golden fires on trees whose foliage 
is falling, and lights up the silvered heads on 
which it rests with a glory that reminds one of 
immortal crowns. 

L. MARIA CHILD. 




CONTENTS. 



Pagb 

The Friends L. M. Child . . i 

The Good Old Grandmother . Anonymous ... 37 

The Consolations of Age . . Zschokke .... 39 

The Old Man Dreams . . . . O. W. Holmes . . 44 

A Russian Lady 46 

The Old Man's Song .... Anonymous ... 51 
The Twenty-seventh of March M . C. Bryant . . 52 
A Christmas Story for Grand- 
father Charles Dickens . 53 

John Anderson, my Jo . . . . Robert Burns . . 60 

Old Folks at Home . . . . L. M. Child . . 61 

Everlasting Youth Edmund If. Sears . 62 

Life Mrs. Barbauld . . 68 

The Mysterious Pilgrimage . . L. M. Child . . 69 

The Happiest Time Eliza Cook ... 81 

Ode of Anacreon 84 

Cicero's Essay on Old Age 85 

The Fountain W. Wordsworth . 98 

A Poet's Blessing Uhland . . . . 101 

Bernard Palissy 102 

Old Age Coming Elizabeth Hamilton 123 

Unmarried Women . . . . . L. M. Child, . . 127 



viii CONTENTS. 

The Old Maid's Prayer . . . Mrs Tighe ... 144 

Grandfather's Reverie . . . Theodore Parker . 146 

The Old Couple Anonymous .. . . 149 

A Story of St. Mark's Eve . . Thomas Hood . . 152 

What the Old Woman said . Anonymous ... 161 

The Spring Journey .... Heber 163 

Moral Hints Z. M. Child . . . 164 

The Boys O. W. Holmes . . 184 

Ode of Anacreon 185 

Mysteriousness of Life . . . Mountford . . . 186 

The Grandmother's Apology . Alfred Tennyson . 189 

The Ancient Man J. P. Richter . . 193 

Milton's Hymn of Patience . Elizabeth L. Howell 210 

Letter from an Old Woman . Z. M. Child . . 212 

Bright Days in Winter . . . John G. Whittier . 223 

The Canary Bird John Sterling . . 224 

Old Bachelors Z. M. Child . . 225 

Taking it Easy G. H. Clark . . 238 

Old Aunty . Anonymous . . . 241 

Richard and Kate Robert Bloomjield . 250 

LUDOVICO CORNARO 256 

Robin and Jeannie Dora Greenwell. . 271 

A Good Old Age Mountford . . . 273 

My Psalm John G. Whittier . 276 

John Henry von Dannecker 279 

The Kitten and Falling Leaves W. Wordsworth . 290 

Dr. Doddridge's Dream 292 

The Old Psalm-Tune .... Harriet B. Stowe . 297 

The Lost Books of Livy 300 

To One who wished me Sixteen 

Years Old Alice Cary . . . 322 



CONTENTS. 



IX 



Growing Old 

Equinoctial 

Epitaph on the Unmated 
A Beautiful Thought 

At Anchor 

November 

Meditations on a Birthday Eve 
The Grandmother of Slaves . 
Auld Lang Syne. . . . 
Old Folks at Home . . 
Old Uncle Tommy . . . 
Sitting in the Sun . . . 

Aunt Kindly 

Crossing Over 

A Love Affair at Cranford . 

To My Wlfe 

The Evergreen of our Feelings 
Our Secret Drawer . . f . 
The Golden Wedding .... 
The Worn Wedding Ring . . 
Hints about Health .... 
The Invalid's Prayer .... 
The Old Pastor and his Son . 
Rest at Evening 



Dinah Muloch . . 324 
Mrs.A.D. T. Whitney 334 



E. S. . . . 

Convers Francis 
Anonymous . 
H. W. Beecker 
John Pierfiont 
H. J. . 
Robert Burns 
L. M. Child . 
M. S. . . . 
Anonymous . 
Theodore Parker 
Uhland . . 
Mrs. Gaskell 
Anonymous . 
J. P. Richter 
Anonymous . 

F. A. Bremer 
W. C. Bennett 
L. M. Child . 
Wesley . . . 
J. P. Richter 
Adelaide A. Procter 



335 
336 
339 
34i 
343 
346 
362 

363 

364 

377 

379 

383 

385 
408 

410 

414 
416 
424 
427 
440 
441 

454 




Looking toward Sunset. 



FROM 



SOURCES OLD, NEW, ORIGINAL, 
AND SELECTED. 





THE FRIENDS. 



By L. M. CHILD. 



" By some especial care 
Her temper had been framed, as if to make 
A being, who, by adding love to peace, 
Might live on earth a life of happiness." 

Wordsworth. 




N the interior of Maine two girls grew 
to womanhood in houses so near that 
they could nod and smile to each other 
while they were making the beds in 
the morning, and chat through the open fence 
that separated their gardens when they went to 
pick currants for the tea-table. Both were daugh- 
ters of farmers ; but Harriet Brown's father had 



2 THE FRIENDS. 

money in the bank, while Jane White's father 
was struggling hard to pay off a mortgage. Jane 
was not a beauty, but her fresh, healthy counte- 
nance was pleasant to look upon. Her large blue 
eyes had a very innocent expression, and there was 
always in them the suggestion of a smile, as if they 
sung the first note of a merry song for the lips to 
follow. Harriet was the belle of the county ; with 
rosy cheeks, a well-shaped mouth, and black eyes, 
that were very bright, without being luminous from 
within. A close observer of physiognomy could 
easily determine which of the girls had most of 
heart and soul. But they were both favorites in 
the village, and the young men thought it was 
a pretty sight to see them together. In fact, they 
were rarely seen apart. Their leisure moments, 
on bright winter days, were spent in snow-balling 
each other across the garden-fence ; and they kept 
up the sport hilariously long after their hands were 
numb and red with cold. In the long evenings, 
they made wagers which would soonest finish a 
pair of socks ; and merry were the little crowings 
over the vanquished party. In spring, they hunt- 
ed anemones and violets together. In autumn, 
they filled their aprons with brilliant-colored leaves 
to decorate the mantel-piece ; stopping ever and 
anon to twine the prettiest specimens in each 
other's hair. They both sat in the singing-seats 
at meeting. Harriet's shrill voice was always 
heard above Jane's, but it was defective in mod- 



THE FRIENDS. 3 

ulation, while music flowed through the warb- 
ling voice of her companion. They often bought 
dresses alike, with the agreement that, when the 
sleeves were worn, the two skirts should be used 
to make a new dress for the one who first needed 
it ; and shrewd observers remarked that Harriet 
usually had the benefit of such bargains. Jane 
waited assiduously upon her mother, while Har- 
riet's mother waited upon her. One seemed to 
have come into the world to be ministered unto, 
and the other to minister. Harriet was prim in 
company, and some called her rather proud; but 
Jane was deemed imprudent, because whatever 
she said or did bubbled out of her heart. Their 
friendship was not founded on any harmonious 
accord of character ; few friendships are. They 
were born next door to each other, and no other 
girls of their own age happened to be near neigh- 
bors. The youthful heart runs over so perpetu- 
ally, that it needs another into which to pour its 
ever-flowing stream. Impelled by this necessity, 
they often shared each other's sleeping apartments, 
and talked late into the night. They could not have 
told, the next day, what they had talked about. 
Their conversation was a continuous movement 
of hilarious nothings, with a running accompani- 
ment of laughter. It was like the froth of whip- 
syllabub, of which the rustic took a spoonful into 
his mouth, and finding it gone without leaving 
a taste behind, he searched the carpet for it. The 



4 THE FRIENDS. 

girls, however, never looked after the silly bubbles 
of their bubbling syllables. Harriet thought Jane 
excessively funny, and such an appreciative audi- 
ence was stimulus sufficient to keep her friend's 
tongue in motion. 

" O Hatty, the moon 's up, and it 's as light as 
a cork ! " exclaimed Jane, springing out of bed in 
the summer's night, and looking out of the win- 
dow. 

" What a droll creature you are ! " replied Hat- 
ty ; and they laughed more heartily than they 
would have done over one of Dr. Holmes's wit- 
tiest sayings. 

When merriment subsided into a more serious 
mood, each gave her opinion whether Harry Blake, 
the young lawyer, or Frank May, the young store- 
keeper, had the handsomest eyes. Jane said, 
there was a report that the young lawyer was 
engaged to somebody before he came to their vil- 
lage ; but Harriet said she did n't believe it, be- 
cause he pressed her hand when they came home 
from the County Ball, and he whispered some- 
thing, too ; but she did n't know whether it would 
be fair to tell of it. Then came the entreaty, " Do 
tell"; and she told. And with various similar 
confidings, they at last fell asleep. 

Thus life flowed on, like a sunny, babbling brook, 
with these girls of sixteen summers. Fond as they 
were of recreation, they were capable, in the New 
England sense of the term, and accomplished a 



THE FRIENDS. 5 

great deal of work. It was generally agreed that 
Harriet made the best butter and Jane the best 
bread that the village produced. Thrifty fathers said 
to their sons, that whoever obtained one of those 
girls for a wife would be a lucky fellow. Harriet 
refused several offers, and the rejected beaux 
revenged themselves by saying, she was fishing 
for the lawyer, in hopes of being the wife of 
a judge, or a member of Congress. There was 
less gossip about Jane's love affairs. Nobody was 
surprised when the banns were published between 
her and Frank May. She had always maintained 
that his eyes were handsomer than the lawyer's. 
It was easy enough for anybody to read her heart. 
Soon after Jane's marriage with the young store- 
keeper Harriet went to visit an uncle in New York. 
There she attracted the attention of a prosperous 
merchant, nearly as old as her father, and came 
home to busy herself with preparations for a wed- 
ding. Jane expressed surprise, in view of certain 
confidences with regard to the young lawyer ; but 
Harriet replied : " Mr. Gray is a very good sort 
of man, and really seems to be very much in love 
with me. And you know, Jenny, it must be a 
long time before Harry Blake can earn enough 
to support a wife handsomely." 

A few weeks afterward, they had their parting 
interview. They kissed and shed tears, and ex- 
changed lockets with braids of hair. Jane's voice 
was choked, as she said : " O Hatty, it seems so 



6 THE FRIENDS. 

hard that we should be separated ! I thought to 
be sure we should always be neighbors." 

And Harriet wiped her eyes, and tried to an- 
swer cheerfully : " You must come and see me, 
dear Jenny. It is n't such a great way to New 
York, after all." 

The next day Jane attended the wedding in her 
own simple bridal dress of white muslin ; and the 
last she saw of Harriet was the waving of her 
white handkerchief from a genteel carriage, drawn 
by two shining black horses. It was the first link 
that had been broken in the chain of her quiet 
life ; and the separation of these first links startles 
the youthful mind with a sort of painful surprise, 
such as an infant feels waking from sleep to be 
frightened by a strange face bending over its cra- 
dle. She said to her husband : u I did n't feel at 
all as I always imagined I should feel at Hatty's 
wedding. It was so unexpected to have her go 
off with that stranger ! But I suppose she is the 
best judge of what is for her own happiness." 

The void left by this separation was soon filled 
by new pleasures and duties. A little boy and 
girl came. Then her husband was seized with 
a disease of the spine, which totally unfitted him 
for business. Jane had acquired considerable skill 
in mantua-making, which now proved a valuable 
assistance in the support of her family. The neigh- 
boring farmers said, " Young Mrs. May has a hard 
row to hoe." But her life was a mingled cup, 



THE FRIENDS. 7 

■which she had no wish to exchange for any other. 
Care and fatigue were sweetened by the tenderness 
and patience of her household mate, and bright- 
ened by the gambols of children, who clung to her 
with confiding love. When people expressed sym- 
pathy with her hard lot, she answered, cheerfully : 
" I am happier than I was when I was a girl. It 
is a happiness that I feel deeper down in my 
heart." This feeling was expressed in her face 
also. The innocent blue eyes became motherly 
and thoughtful in their tenderness, but still a 
smile lay sleeping there. Her husband said she 
was handsomer than when he first loved her ; and 
so all thought who appreciated beauty of expres- 
sion above fairness of skin. 

During the first year of her residence in New 
York, Harriet wrote every few weeks ; but the 
intervals between her letters lengthened, and the 
apology was the necessity of giving dinner-parties, 
making calls, and attending to mantua-makers. 
To Jane, who was constantly working to nurse 
and support her dear ones, they seemed like letters 
in a foreign language, of which we can study out 
the meaning, but in which it is impossible for us to 
think. She felt herself more really separated from 
the friend of her girlhood than she could have been 
by visible mountains. They were not only living 
in different worlds, but the ways of each world did 
not interest the other. The correspondence finally 
ceased altogether, and years passed without any 
communication. 



8 THE FRIENDS. 

The circle of Jane's duties enlarged. Her hus- 
band's parents became feeble in health ; they need- 
ed the presence of children, and could also assist 
their invalid son by receiving him into their house. 
So Frank May and his wife removed to their 
home, in a country village of Massachusetts. Her 
parents, unwilling to relinquish the light of her 
presence, removed with them. There was, of 
course, great increase of care, to which was added 
the necessity for vigilant economy ; but the energy 
of the young matron grew with the demands upon 
it. Her husband's mother was a little unreason- 
able at times, but it was obvious that she consid- 
ered her son very fortunate in his wife ; and Jane 
thankfully accepted her somewhat reluctant affec- 
tion. If a neighbor alluded to her numerous 
cares, she replied cheerfully : " Yes, it is true that 
I have a good deal on my shoulders ; but somehow 
it never seems very heavy. The fact is," she 
added, smiling, " there 's great satisfaction in feel- 
ing one's self of so much importance. There are 
my husband, my two children, my two fathers, 
and my two mothers, all telling me that they 
could n't get along without me ; and I think 
that 's blessing enough for one poor woman. No- 
body can tell, until they try it, what a satisfaction 
there is in making old folks comfortable. They 
cling so to those that take good care of them, that, 
I declare, I find it does me about as much good as 
it did to tend upon my babies." Blessed woman ! 



THE FRIENDS. 9 

she carried sunshine within her, and so external 
circumstances could not darken her life. 

The external pressure increased as years passed 
on. Her husband, her parents, her son, departed 
from her, one after another. Still she smiled 
through her tears, and said : " God has been very 
merciful to me. It was such a comfort to be able 
to tend upon them to the last, and to have them 
die blessing me ! " The daughter married and 
removed to Illinois. The heart of the bereaved 
mother yearned to follow her ; but her husband's 
parents were very infirm, and she had become 
necessary to their comfort. When she gave the 
farewell kiss to her child, she said : " There is no 
one to take good care of the old folks if I leave 
them. I will stay and close their eyes, and then, 
if it be God's will, I will come to you." 

Two years afterward, the old father died, but 
his wife survived him several years. When the 
estates of both fathers were settled, there remained 
for the two widowed women a small house, an 
acre of land, and a thousand dollars in the bank. 
There they lived alone. The rooms that had 
been so full of voices were silent now. Only, as 
Jane moved about, " on household cares intent," 
she was often heard singing the tune her dear 
Frank used to sing under the apple-tree by hei 
window, in their old courting days : — 

" The moon was shining silver bright, 
No cloud the eye could view ; 
l # 



10 THE FRIENDS. 

Her lover's step, in silent night, 
Well pleased, the damsel knew." 

Sometimes the blue eyes moistened as she sang; 
but, ere the tears fell, tender memories would 
modulate themselves into the tune of " Auld lang 
syne." And sometimes the old mother, who sat 
knitting in the sunshine, would say : " Sing that 
again, Jenny. How my old man used to love to 
hear you sing it ! Don't you remember he used 
to say you sung like a thrush ? " Jenny would 
smile, and say, " Yes, mother," and sing it over 
again. Then, tenderly adapting herself to the old 
woman's memories, she would strike into " John 
Anderson, my Jo," to which her aged companion 
would listen with an expression of serene satisfac- 
tion. It was indeed a pleasure to listen ; for 
Jenny's sweet voice remained unbroken by years ; 
its tones were as silvery as her hair. Time, the 
old crow, had traversed her face and left his foot- 
prints there ; and the ploughshare of successive 
sorrows had cut deep lines into the once smooth 
surface ; but the beauty of the soul illumined her 
faded countenance, as moonlight softens and glori- 
fies ruins. When she carefully arranged the pil- 
lows of the easy-chair, the aged mother, ere she 
settled down for her afternoon's nap, would often 
look up gratefully, and say, " Your eyes are just 
as good as a baby's." It was a pleasant sound to 
the dutiful daughter's ears, and made her forget 
the querulous complaints in which her infirm com- 
panion sometimes indulged. 



THE FRIENDS. 11 

The time came when this duty was finished 
also ; and Mrs. Frank May found herself all alone 
in the house, whither she had carried her sunshine 
thirty years before. She wrote to her daughter 
that, as soon as she could sell or let her little 
homestead, she w r ould start for Illinois. She 
busied herself to hasten the necessary arrange- 
ments ; for her lonely heart was longing for her 
only child, whose face she had not seen for seven 
years. One afternoon, as she sat by the window 
adding up accounts, her plans for the journey to 
meet her daughter gradually melted into loving 
reminiscences of her childhood, till she seemed to 
see again the little smiling face that had looked 
to her the most beautiful in all the world, and to 
hear again the little pattering feet that once made 
sweetest music in her ears. As she sat thus in 
reverie at the open window, the setting sun bright- 
ened the broad meadows, crowned the distant 
hill-tops with glory, and threw a ribbon of gold 
across the wall of her humble little room. The 
breath of lilacs floated in, and with it came memo- 
ries of how her little children used to come in with 
their arms full of spring-blossoms, filling every 
mug and pitcher they could find. The current 
of her thoughts was interrupted by the sound of a 
wagon. It stopped before her house. A stranger 
J with two little children ! Who could it be ? She 
opened the door. The stranger, taking off his hat 
and bowing respectfully, said, " Are you Mrs. 
Frank May?" 



12 THE FRIENDS. 

" Yes, sir," she replied. 

" Well, then," rejoined he, " if you please, I '11 
walk in, for I 've got some news to tell you. But 
first I '11 bring in the children, for the little things 
have been riding all day, and are pretty tired.'* 

" Certainly, sir, bring them in and let them 
rest, and I will give them a cup of milk," replied 
the kindly matron. 

A little boy and girl were lifted from the wagon 
and led in. Mrs. May made an exclamation of 
joyful surprise. The very vision she had had in 
her mind a few minutes previous stood before her 
bodily ! She took the little girl in her arms and 
covered her face with kisses. " Why, bless your 
little soul ! " she exclaimed ; " how much you look 
like my daughter Jenny ! " 

" My name ith Jenny," lisped the little one. 

"Why, you see, ma'am — " stammered the 
stranger ; he paused, in an embarrassed way, and 
smoothed the nap of his hat with his sleeve. 
" You see, ma'am — " he resumed ; then, breaking 
down again, he suddenly seized the boy by the 
hand, led him up to her, and said, " There, 
Robin ! that 's your good old granny, you 've 
heard so much about." 

With a look of astonishment, Mrs. May said to 
him : " And where is my daughter, sir ? Surely 
these little children would n't come so far without 
their mother." 

The man again began to say, " You see, 



THE FRIENDS. 13 

ma'am — " but his heart came up and choked 
his voice with a great sob. The old mother 
understood its meaning. She encircled the two 
children with her arms, and drew them closely to 
her side. After a brief silence, she asked, in a 
subdued voice, " When did she die ? " 

Her calmness reassured the stranger, and with 
a steady voice he replied : " You see, ma'am, your 
daughter and her husband have been neighbors of 
mine ever since they went to Illinois. There 's 
been an epidemic fever raging among us, and they 
both died of it. The last words your daughter said 
were, ' Carry the children to my good mother.' 
I 've been wanting to come and see my old father, 
who lives about three miles from here, so I 
brought them along with me. It 's sorrowful 
news for you, ma'am, and I meant to have sort 
of prepared you for it; but somehow I lost my 
presence of mind, and forgot what I was going to 
say. But I 'm glad to see you so sustained under 
it, ma'am." 

" I thank God that these are left," she replied ; 
and she kissed the little faces that were upturned 
to hers with an expression that seemed to say they 
thought they should like their grandmother. 

" I 'm so glad you 're helped to take it so," re- 
joined the stranger. " Your daughter always told 
me you was a woman that went straight ahead 
and did your duty, trusting the Lord to bring 
you through." 



14 THE FRIENDS. ' 

" I am forgetting my duty now," she replied. 
" You must be hungry and tired. If you '11 drive 
to Neighbor Harrington's barn, he will take good 
care of your horse, and I will prepare your sup- 
per." _ 

" Thank you kindly, ma'am ; but I must jog on 
to my old father's, to take supper with him." 

Some boxes containing the clothing of the chil- 
dren and their mother were brought in ; and, hav- 
ing deposited them, the stranger departed amid 
thanks and benedictions. 

Mrs. Harrington had seen the wagon stop at 
Mrs. May's door, and go off without the children. 
Being of an inquiring mind, she straightway put 
on her cape-bonnet, and went to see about it. She 
found her worthy neighbor pinning towels round 
the children's necks, preparatory to their supper 
of brown bread and molasses, which they were in 
a great hurry to eat. 

" Why who on earth have you got here ! " ex- 
claimed Neighbor Harrington. 

" They are my daughter's children," replied 
Mrs. May. " Bless their little souls ! if I 'd have 
known they were coming, I 'd have had some 
turnovers ready for them." 

" I guess you '11 find they '11 make turnovers 
enough,'^replied Mrs. Harrington smiling. " That 
boy looks to me like a born rogue. But where 's 
your daughter ? I did n't see any woman in the 
wagon." 



THE FRIENDS. 15 

" The Lord has taken her to himself," replied 
Mrs May, in quivering tones. 

" You dorCt say so I " exclaimed Neighbor Har- 
rington, raising both hands. " Bless me ! if I 'd 
known that, I would n't have come right in upon 
you so sudden." 

They sat down and began to talk over the par- 
ticulars which the stranger had- related. Mean- 
while, the children, in hungry haste, were daubing 
their chins and fingers with molasses. The little 
four-year-old Jenny was the first to pause. Draw- 
ing a long breath, expressive of great satisfaction, 
she lisped out, " O Bubby ! larthiz top on bread ! 
what can be dooder ? " 

Robin, who was two years her senior, and felt as 
if he were as much as ten, gave a great shout of 
laughter, and called out, " O Granny ! you don't 
know how funny Sissy talks." 

Grandmother went with a wet towel to wipe 
their hands and faces, and when she heard what 
the little Tot had said, she could not help smiling, 
notwithstanding the heaviness of her heart. As 
for Neighbor Harrington, she laughed outright. 

" You see they are just as well satisfied as they 
would have been with a dozen turnovers," said 
she. " But this is a sad blow for you, Neighbor 
May ; coming, too, just at the time when you 
were taking so much comfort in the thoughts of 
going to see your daughter ; and it will be a pretty 
heavy load for a woman of your years to bring up 
these orphans." 



16 THE FRIENDS. 

" O, it 's wonderful how the dispensations of 
Providence are softened for us poor weak mortals," 
replied Mrs. May. " Only think what a mercy it 
is that I have these treasures left ? Why, she 
looks so much like her dear mother, that I seem to 
have my own little Jenny right over again ; and I 
can't seem to realize that it is n't so. You see, 
Neighbor Harrington, that softens the blow won- 
derfully. As for bringing up the children, I have 
faith that the Lord will strengthen those who trust 
in him." 

" That 's just like you," rejoined Neighbor Har- 
rington. " You always talk in that way. You 
always seem to think that what happens is the 
best that could happen. You 're pretty much like 
this little one here. If you don't get tarts and 
turnovers, you smack your lips and say, ' Lasses 
top on bread ! what can be gooder ? ' " 

The neighbors bade each other a smiling good- 
night. When Mrs. Harrington returned home, 
she told her husband the mournful news, and 
added, " Mrs. May don't seem to feel it so much 
as I should think she would." Yet the good 
grandmother dropped many tears on the pillow 
where those little orphans slept ; and kneeling by 
their bedside, she prayed long and fervently for 
support and guidance in rearing the precious souls 
thus committed to her charge. 

She had long been unused to children ; and they 
did, as Neighbor Harrington had predicted, make 



THE FRIENDS. 17 

plenty of turnovers in the house. Robin had 
remarkable gifts in that line. Endless were his 
variations of mischief. Sometimes the stillness of 
the premises was suddenly disturbed by a tremen- 
dous fluttering and cackling, caused by his efforts 
to catch the cockerel. The next thing, there was 
the cat squalling and hissing, because he was 
pulling her backward by the tail. Then he was 
seized with a desire to explore the pig's sleeping 
apartment, and by that process let him out into 
the garden, and had the capital fun of chasing him 
over flowers and vegetables. Once when the pig 
upset little Sissy in his rounds, he had to lie down 
and roll in the mud himself, with loud explosions 
of laughter. Quiet little Jenny liked to make 
gardens by sticking flowers in the sand, but it 
particularly pleased him to send them all flying 
into the air, at the point of his boot. When the 
leaves were gay with autumn tints, she would 
bring her apron full and sit at grandmother's feet 
weaving garlands for the mantel-piece ; and it was 
Master Robin's delight to pull them to pieces, 
and toss them hither and yon. It was wonderful 
how patiently the good grandmother put up with 
his roguish pranks. " O Robin, dear, don't be- 
have so," she would say. " Be a good boy. 
Come ! I want to see how fast you grow. Take 
off your boots, and Jenny will take off hers, and 
stand even, and then we '11 see which is the 
tallest." 



18 THE FRIENDS. 

" O, I 'm ever so much taller. I 'm almost a 
man," responded Robin, kicking off his boots. 

Honest little Jenny stood squarely and demurely 
while grandmother compared their heights. But 
roguish Robin raised himself as much as possible. 
To hide his mirth, he darted out of doors as soon 
as it was over, calling Jenny after him. Then he 
gave her a poke, that toppled her half over, and 
said, with a chuckle, " Sissy, I cheated grand- 
mother. I stood tiptoe. But don't you tell ! " 

But wild as Robin was, he dearly loved his 
grandmother, and she loved him better than any- 
thing else, excepting little Jenny. When Neigh- 
bor Harrington said, " I should think that boy 
would wear your life out," she answered, with a 
smile : " I don't know what I should do with- 
out the dear little creatures. I always liked to 
be called by my Christian name, because it sounds 
more hearty. There 's nobody to call me Jenny 
now. The little ones call me granny, and the 
neighbors call me old Mrs. Frank May. But I 
have a little Jenny, and every time I hear her 
name called, it makes me feel as if I was young 
again. But what I like best is to hear her tuning 
up her little songs. The little darling sings like 
a robin." 

" Then she sings like we," exclaimed her ubiq- 
uitous brother, who had climbed up to the open 
window, holding on by the sill. " I can whistle 
most any tune ; can't I ? " 



THE FRIENDS. 19 

" Yes, dear, you whistle like a quail," replied 
his grandmother. 

Satisfied with this share of praise, down he 
dropped, and the next minute they saw him 
rushing down the road, in full chase after a pass- 
ing dog. Mrs. May laughed, as she said : "It 
seems as if he was in twenty places at once. 
But he 's a good boy. There 's nothing the mat- 
ter with him, only he 's so full of fun that it 
will run over all the time. He '11 grow steadier, 
by and by. He brought in a basket of chips to- 
day without upsetting them ; and he never made 
out to do that before. He 's as bright as a steel 
button ; and if I am only enabled to guide him 
right, he will make such a man as my dear hus- 
band would have been proud to own for a grand- 
son. I used to think it was impossible to love 
anything better than I loved my little ones ; but 
I declare I think a grandmother takes more 
comfort in her grandchildren than she did in 
her own children." 

"Well, you do beat all," replied Mrs. Har- 
rington. " You 've had about as much affliction 
as any woman I know ; but you never seem to 
think you 've had any trouble. I told my hus- 
band I reckoned you would admit it was a tough 
job to bring up that boy, at your age ; but it 
seems you don't." 

"Why the fact is,", rejoined Mrs. May, "the 
troubles of this life come so mixed up with bless- 



20 THE FRIENDS. 

ings, that we are willing to endure one for the 
sake of having the other ; and then our afflic- 
tions do us so much good, that I reckon they 
are blessings, too." 

" I suppose they are," replied Mrs. Harring- 
ton, " though they don't always seem so. But 
I came in to tell you that we are going to 
Mount Nobscot for huckleberries to-morrow ; and 
if you and the children would like to go, there 's 
room enough in our big wagon." 

" Thank you heartily," replied Mrs. May. " It 
will be a charming frolic for the little folks. 
But pray don't tell them anything about it to- 
night ; if you do, Robin won't sleep a wink, or 
let anybody else sleep." 

The sun rose clear, and the landscape, re- 
cently washed by copious showers, looked clean 
and fresh. The children were in ecstasies at 
the idea of going to the hill behind which they 
had so often seen the sun go down. But so 
confused were their ideas of space, that, while 
Jenny inquired whether Nobscot was as far off as 
Illinois, Robin asked, every five minutes, whether 
they had got there. When they were lifted 
from the wagon, they eagerly ran forward, and 
Robin's voice was soon heard shouting, " O 
Granny ! here 's lots o' berries ! " They went 
to picking green, red, and black ones with all 
zeal, while grandmother proceeded to fill her 
basket. When Mrs. Harrington came, she said, 



THE FRIENDS. 21 

" O, don't stop to pick here. We shall find 
them twice as thick farther up the hill." 

46 1 '11 make sure of these," replied Mrs. May. 
" I 'm of the old woman's mind, who said she 
always took her comfort in this world as she 
went along, for fear it would n't be here when 
she came back." 

" You 're a funny old soul," rejoined Neighbor 
Harrington. " How young you look to-day ! ' 

In fact, the morning air, the pleasant drive, 
the joyous little ones, and the novelty of going 
from home, so renovated the old lady, that her 
spirits rose to the temperature of youth, her color 
heightened, and her step was more elastic than 
usual. 

When they had filled their baskets, they sat 
under the trees, and opened the boxes of lun- 
cheon. The children did their full share toward 
making them empty. When Robin could eat no 
more, he followed Joe Harrington into a neigh- 
boring field to examine some cows that were 
grazing. The women took out their knitting, 
and little Jenny sat at their feet, making hills 
of moss, while she sang about 

A kitty with soft white fur, 

Whose only talk was a pleasant purr. 

The grandmother hummed the same tune, but 
in tones too low to drown the voice of her dar- 
ling. Looking round on the broad panorama of 
hills, meadows, and cornfields, dotted with farm- 



22 THE FRIENDS. 

houses, her soul was filled with the spirit of 
summer, and she began to sing, in tones wonder- 
fully clear and strong for her years, 

" Among the trees, when humming-bees 
At buds and flowers were hanging," 

when Robin scrambled up the hill, calling out, 
" Sing something funny, Granny ! Sing that song 
about me!^ He made a motion to. scatter Jen- 
ny's mosses with his foot ; but his grandmother 
said, " If you want me to sing to you, you must 
keep quiet." He stretched himself full length 
before her, and throwing his feet up, gazed in 
her face while she sang: 

" Robin was a rovin' boy, 
Rantin' rovin', rantin' rovin'; 
Robin was a rovin' boy, 
Rantin' rovin' Robin. 

" He '11 have misfortunes great and sma', 
But ay a heart aboon them a' ; 
He '11 be a credit till us a' ; 
We '11 a' be proud o' Robin." 

" That means me ! " he said, with an exultant 
air ; and, turning a somerset, he rolled down the 
hill, from the bottom of which they heard him 
whistling the tune. 

Altogether, they had a very pleasant day among 
the trees and bushes. It brought back very viv- 
idly to Mrs. May's mind similar ramblings with 
Hatty Brown in the fields of Maine. As they 
walked slowly toward their wagon, she was look- 
ing dreamily down the long vista of her life, at the 



THE FRIENDS. 23 

entrance of which she seemed to see a vision of her 
handsome friend Hatty pelting her with flowers 
in girlish glee. The children ran on, while older 
members of the party lingered i to arrange the bas- 
kets. Presently Jenny came running back, and 
said, " Granny, there 's a carriage down there ; 
and a lady asked me my name, and said I was a 
pretty little girl." 

" Pretty is that pretty does" replied the grand- 
mother. " That means it is pretty to be good." 
Then, turning to Mrs. Harrington, she asked, 
" Whose carriage is that ? " 

She answered, " It passed us last Sunday, when 
we were going to meeting, and husband said it 
belonged to Mr. Jones, that New York gentleman 
who bought the Simmes estate, you know. I guess 
that old lady is Mrs. Gray, his wife's mother." 

" Mrs. who f ' exclaimed her companion, in a 
very excited tone. 

" They say her name is Gray," replied Mrs. 
Harrington ; " but what is the matter with you ? 
You 're all of a tremble." 

Without answering, Mrs. May hurried forward 
with a degree of agility that surprised them all. 
She paused in front of an old lady very hand- 
somely dressed in silver-gray silk. She looked at 
the thin, sharp features, the dull black eyes, and 
the wrinkled forehead. It was so unlike the 
charming vision she had seen throwing flowers 
in the far-off vista of memory ! She asked herself, 



24 THE FRIENDS. 

" Can it be she ? " Then, with a suppressed, half- 
embarrassed eagerness, she asked, " Are you the 
Mrs. Gray who used to be Hatty Brown ? " 

" That was formerly my name," replied the 
lady, with dignified politeness. 

She threw her arms round her neck, nothing 
doubting, and exclaimed : " O Hatty ! dear Hatty ! 
How glad I am to see you ! I 've been thinking 
of you a deal to-day." 

The old lady received the embrace passively, 
and, readjusting her tumbled cape, replied, "I 
think I 've seen your face somewhere, ma'am, but 
I don't remember where." 

" What ! don't you know me ? Your old friend, 
Jenny White, who married Frank May ? " 

" O yes, I remember. But you 've changed a 
good deal since I used to know you. Has your 
health been good since I saw you, Mrs. May ? " 

This response chilled her friend's heart like an 
east wind upon spring flowers. In a confused way, 
she stammered out, u I 've been very well, thank 
you ; and I hope you have enjoyed the same bless- 
ing. But I must go and see to the children now. 
I thought to be sure you 'd know me. Good by." 

" Good by, ma'am," responded the old lady in 
gray. 

The carriage was gone when Mrs. Harrington 
and her party entered the big wagon to return 
home. Mrs. May, having made a brief explana- 
tion of her proceedings, became unusually silent. 



THE FRIENDS. 25 

It was a lovely afternoon, but she did not comment 
on the beauty of the landscape, as she had done 
in the morning. She was kind and pleasant, but 
her gayety had vanished. The thought revolved 
through her mind : " Could it be my shabby gown ? 
Hatty always thought a deal of dress." But the 
suspicion seemed to her mean, and she strove to 
drive it away. 

" Meeting that old acquaintance seems to make 
you down-hearted," remarked Mrs. Harrington ; 
" and that 's something new for you." 

" I was disappointed that she did n't know me," 
replied Mrs. May ; " but when I reflect, it seems 
very natural. I doubt whether I should have 
known her, if you hadn't told me her name. 
I 'm glad it did n't happen in the morning ; for 
it might have clouded my day a little. I 've 
had a beautiful time." 

" Whatever comes, you are always thankful it 
was n't something worse," rejoined Mrs. Harring- 
ton. " Little Jenny is going to be just like you. 
She '11 never be pining after other people's pies 
and cakes. Whatever she has, she '11 call it ' Lasses 
top on bread ! What can be gooder ? ' Won't you, 
Sissy ? " 

" Bless the dear little soul ! she 's fast asleep ! " 

said her grandmother. She placed the pretty little 

head in her lap, and tenderly stroked back the 

silky curls. The slight cloud soon floated away 

from her serene soul, and she began to sing, 
2 



26 THE FRIENDS. 

" Away with melancholy," and u Life let us cher- 
ish." As the wagon rolled toward home, people 
who happened to be at their doors or windows 
said : " That is old Mrs. Frank May. What a 
clear, sweet voice she has for a woman of her 
years ! " 

Mrs. May looked in her glass that night longer 
than she had done for years. " I am changed," 
said she to herself. " No wonder Hatty did n't 
know me ! " She took from the till of her trunk 
a locket containing a braid of glossy black hair. 
She gazed at it awhile, and then took off her spec- 
tacles, to wipe from them the moisture of her 
tears. " And this is my first meeting with Hatty 
since we exchanged lockets ! " murmured she. 
" If we had foreseen it then, could we have be- 
lieved it ? " 

The question whether or not it was a duty to 
call on Mrs. Gray disturbed her mind considera- 
bly. Mrs. Harrington settled it for her off-hand. 
" She did not ask you to come," said she ; " and 
if she 's a mind to set herself up, let her take the 
comfort of it. Folks say she 's a dreadful stiff, 
prim old body ; rigid Orthodox ; sure that every- 
body who don't think just as she does will go to 
the bad place." 

These words were not uttered with evil inten- 
tion, but their effect was to increase the sense of 
separation. On the other hand, influences were 
not wanting to prejudice Mrs. Gray against her 



THE FRIENDS. 27 

former friend, whose sudden appearance and en- 
thusiastic proceedings had disconcerted her precise 
habits. When the Sewing-Society met at her son- 
in-law's house, she happened to be seated next to 
an austere woman, of whom she inquired, " What 
sort of person is Mrs. Frank May ? " 

" I don't know her," was the reply. " She 
goes to the Unitarian meeting, and I have no 
acquaintance with people of that society. I should 
judge she was rather light-minded. When I 've 
passed by her house, I 've often heard her singing 
songs ; and I should think psalms and hymns 
would be more suitable to her time of life. I 
rode by there once on Sunday, when I was com- 
ing home from a funeral, and she was singing 
something that sounded too lively for a psalm- 
tune. Miss Crosby told me she heard her say 
that heathens were just as likely to be saved as 
Christians." 

" O, I am sorry to hear that," replied Mrs. 
Gray. " She and I were brought up under the 
Rev. Mr. Peat's preaching, and he was sound 
Orthodox." 

" I did n't know she was an acquaintance of 
yours," rejoined the austere lady, " or I would n't 
have called her light-minded. I never heard any- 
thing against her, only what she said about the 
heathen." 

Mrs. May, having revolved the subject in her 
straightforward mind, came to the conclusion that 



28 THE FRIENDS. 

Neighbor Harrington's advice was not in con- 
formity with the spirit of kindness. " Since Mrs. 
Gray is a stranger in town, it is my place to call 
first," said she. "I will perform my duty, and 
then she can do as she pleases about returning the 
visit." So she arrayed herself in the best she 
had, placed the children in the care of Mrs. Har- 
rington, and went forth on her mission of polite- 
ness. The large mirror, the chairs covered with 
green damask, and the paper touched here and 
there with gold, that shimmered in the rays of the 
setting sun, formed a striking contrast to her own 
humble home. Perhaps this unaccustomed feeling 
imparted a degree of constraint to her manner 
when her old friend entered the room, in ample 
folds of shining gray silk, and a rich lace cap with 
pearl-colored ribbons. Mrs. Gray remarked to 
her that she bore her age remarkably well ; to 
which Mrs. May replied that folks told her so, and 
she supposed it was because she generally had 
pretty good health. It did not occur to her to 
return the compliment, for it would not have been 
true. Jenny was now better-looking than Hatty. 
Much of this difference might be attributed to her 
more perfect health, but still more it was owing 
to the fact that, all their lives long, one had lived 
to be ministered unto, and the other to minister. 
The interview was necessarily a formal one. 
Mrs. Gray inquired about old acquaintances in 
Maine, but her visitor had been so long absent 



THE FRIENDS. 29 

* 

from that part of the country that she had little 
or nothing to tell, and all she had struggled 
through meanwhile would have been difficult for 
the New York lady to realize. The remark about 
her light-mindedness was constantly present in 
Mrs. Gray's mind, and at parting she thus ex- 
pressed the anxiety it occasioned : " You say you 
have a great deal to do, Mrs. May, and indeed 
you must have, with all the care of those little 
children ; but I hope you find time to think about 
the salvation of vour soul." 

Her visitor replied, with characteristic simpli- 
city : " I don't know whether I do, in the sense I 
suppose you mean. I have thought a great deal 
about what is right and what is wrong, and I have 
prayed for light to see what was my duty, and for 
strength to perform it. But the fact is, I have 
had so much to do for others, that I have n't had 
much time to think about myself, in any way." 
Then, with some passing remark about the vines 
at the door, the old ladies bade each other good- 
ly. 

When Mrs. Harrington was informed of the 

conversation, she said, in her blunt way : "It was 
a great piece of impertinence in her. She 'd bet- 
ter take care of her own soul than trouble herself 
about yours." 

"I don't think so," replied Mrs. May. "I be- 
lieve she meant it kindly. She don't seem to me 
to be stern or proud. But we 've been doing and 



30 THE FRIENDS. 

thinking such very different things, for a great 
many years, that she don't know what to say to 
me, and I am just as much puzzled how to get at 
her. I reckon all these things will come right in 
another world." 

During the summer she often saw Mr. Jones's 
carriage pass her house, and many a time, when 
the weather was fine, she placed fresh flowers 
on the mantel-piece, in a pretty vase which Hatty 
had given her for a bridal present, thinking to 
herself that Mrs. Gray would be likely to ride 
out, and might give her a call. When autumn 
came, she filled the vase with grasses and bright 
berries, which she gathered in her ramblings with 
the children. Once, the carriage passed her as 
she was walking home, with a little one in either 
hand, and Mrs. Gray looked out and bowed. At 
last a man came with a barrel of apples and a 
message. The purport of it was, that she had 
gone with her daughter's family to New York for 
the winter; that she intended to have called on 
Mrs. May, but had been poorly and made no 
visits. 

Winter passed rapidly. The children attended 
school constantly ; it was grandmother's business 
to help them about their lessons, to knit them 
warm socks and mittens, to mend their clothes, 
and fill their little dinner-kettle with provisions. 
The minister, the deacon, and the neighbors in 
general felt interested to help the worthy woman 



THE FRIENDS. 31 

» 

along in the task she had undertaken. Many- 
times a week she repeated, " How my path is 
strewn with blessings ! " 

With the lilacs the New York family came 
back to their summer/ residence. The tidings 
soon spread abroad that Mrs. Gray was failing 
fast, and was seldom strong enough to ride out. 
Mrs. May recalled to mind certain goodies, of 
which Hatty used to be particularly fond in their 
old girlish times. The next day she started from 
home with a basket nicely covered with a white 
damask napkin, on the top of which lay a large 
bunch of Lilies of the Valley, imbedded in one of 
their broad green leaves. She found Mrs. Gray 
bolstered up in her easy-chair, looking quite thin 
and pale. "I know you have everything you 
want, and better than I can bring," said she; 
" but I remembered you used to like these goodies 
when we were girls, and I wanted to bring you 
something, so I brought these." She laid the 
flowers in the thin hand, and uncovered her 
basket. 

The invalid looked up in her face with a smile, 
and said, " Thank you, Jenny ; this is very kind 
of you." 

"God bless you for calling me Jenny!' ex- 
claimed her warm-hearted old friend, with a gush 
of tears. " There is nobody left to call me Jenny 
now. The children call me Granny, and the 
neighbors call me old Mrs. Frank May. O, it 
sounds like old times, Hatty." 



32 THE FRIENDS. 

The ice gave way under the touch of that one 
sunbeam. Mrs. Gray and Mrs. May vanished from 
their conversation, and only Hatty and Jenny re- 
mained. For several months they met every day, 
and warmed their old hearts with youthful mem- 
ories. Once onlv, a little of the former restraint 
returned for a few minutes. Mrs. Gray betrayed 
what was in her mind, by saying : " I suppose, 
Jenny, you know I have n't any property. My 
husband failed before he died, and I am dependent 
on my daughter." 

" I never inquired about your property, and I 
don't care anything about it," replied Mrs. May, 
rather bruskly, and with a slight flush on her 
cheeks ; but, immediately subsiding into a gentler 
tone, she added, "I'm very glad, Hatty, that you 
have a daughter who is able to make you so com- 
fortable." 

Thenceforth the invalid accepted her disinter- 
ested services without question or doubt. True 
to her old habits of being ministered unto, she 
made large demands on her friend's time and 
strength, apparently unconscious how much incon- 
venience it must occasion to an old person charged 
with the whole care of two orphan children. Mrs. 
May carefully concealed any impediments in the 
way, and, by help of Mrs. Harrington, was always 
ready to attend upon her old friend. She was 
often called upon to sing " Auld Lang Syne " ; and 
sometimes, when the invalid felt stronger than 



THE FRIENDS, 33 

common, she would join in with her feeble, cracked 
voice. Jenny sat looking at Hatty's withered 
face, and dim black eyes, and she often felt a 
choking in her throat, while they sang together : 

" We twa hae ran about the braes, 
And pu'd the gowans fine." 

More frequently they sang the psalm-tunes they 
used to sing when both sat in the singing-seats 
with Frank May and Harry Blake. They seldom 
parted without Jenny's reading a chapter of the 
New Testament in a soft, serious tone. One day 
Mrs. Gray said : "I have a confession to make, 
Jenny. I was a little prejudiced against you, and 
thought I should n't care to renew our acquaint- 
ance. Somebody told me you was light-minded, 
and that you told Miss Crosby the heathen were 
just as likely to be saved as Christians. But you 
seem to put your trust in God, Jenny ; and it is 
a great comfort to me to hear you read and sing." 

" I have a confession to make, too," replied Mrs. 
May. " They told me you was a very stern and 
bigoted Orthodox ; and you know, when we were 
girls, Hatty, I never took much to folks that were 
too strict to brew a Saturday, for fear the beer 
would work a Sunday." 

" Ah, we were giddy young things in those 
days," replied her friend, with much solemnity in 
her manner. 

" Well, Hatty dear, I 'm a sort of an old girl 
now," replied Mrs. May. " I am disposed to 

2* C 



34 THE FRIENDS. 

be merciful toward the short-comings of my fel- 
low-creatures, and I cannot believe our Heavenly 
Father will be less so. I remember Miss Cros- 
by talked to me about the heathen one day, and 
I thought she talked hard. I don't recollect 
what I said to her ; but after I arrived at years 
of reflection I came to some conclusions differ- 
ent from the views we were brought up in. 
You know my dear Frank was an invalid many 
years. He was always in the house, and we 
read to each other, and talked over what we 
read. In that way, I got the best part of the 
education I have after I was married. Among 
other things he read to me some translations from 
what the Hindoos believe in as their Bible ; and 
some of the writings of Rammohun Roy ; and 
we both came to the conclusion that some who 
were called heathens might be nearer to God 
than many professing Christians. You know, 
Hatty, that Jesus walked and talked with his 
disciples, and their hearts were stirred, but they 
did n't know him. Now it seems to me that the 
spirit of Jesus may walk and talk with good 
pious Hindoos and Mahometans, and may stir 
their hearts, though they don't know him." 

" You may be right," rejoined the invalid. 
u God's ways are above our ways. It 's a pity 
friends should be set against one another on ac- 
count of what they believe, or don't believe. 
Pray for me, Jenny, and I will pray for you." 



THE FRIENDS. 35 

It was the latter part of October, when Mrs. 
May carried a garland of bright autumn leaves 
to pin up opposite her friend's bed. " It is beau- 
tiful," said the invalid; "but the colors are not 
so brilliant as those you and I used to gather in 
Maine. O, how the woods glowed there, at 
this season ! I wish I could see them again." 

Mrs. May smiled, and answered, " Perhaps 
you will, dear." 

Her friend looked in her face, with an earnest, 
questioning glance ; but she only said, " Sing our 
old favorite tune of St. Martin's, Jenny." She 
seated herself by the bedside and sang: 

" The Lord my shepherd is, 

I shall be well supplied; 
Since he is mine, and I am his, 

What can I want beside ? " 

Perceiving that the invalid grew drowsy, she con- 
tinued to hum in a low, lulling tone. When she 
was fast asleep, she rose up, and, after gazing 
tenderly upon her, crept softly out of the room. 
She never looked in those old dim eyes again. 
The next morning they told her the spirit had 
departed from its frail tenement. 

Some clothing and a few keepsakes were trans- 
mitted to Mrs. May soon after, in compliance 
with the expressed wish of her departed friend, 
j Among them was the locket containing a braid 
of her own youthful hair. It was the very color 
of little Jenny's, only the glossy brown was a 



36 THE FRIENDS. 

shade darker. She placed the two lockets side 
by side, and wiped the moisture from her spec- 
tacles as she gazed upon them. Then she wrapped 
them together, and wrote on them, with a trem- 
bling hand, " The hair of Grandmother and her 
old friend Hatty; for my darling little Jenny." 

When Neighbor Harrington came in to ex- 
amine the articles that had been sent, the old 
lady said to her : " There is nobody left now to 
call me Jenny. But here is my precious little 
Jenny. She '11 never forsake her old granny ; 
will she, darling ? ' The child snuggled fondly 
to her side, and stood on tiptoe to kiss the wrin- 
kled face, which was to her the dearest face in 
the whole world. 

She never did desert her good old friend. She 
declined marrying during Mrs. May's lifetime, and 
waited upon her tenderly to the last. Robin, 
who proved a bright scholar, went to the West 
to teach school, with the view of earning money 
to buy a farm, where grandmother should be 
the queen. He wrote her many loving letters, 
and sent portions of his earnings to her and 
Sissy ; but she departed this life before his earthly 
paradise was made ready for her. The last tune 
she sang was St. Martin's ; and the last words 
she spoke were : " How many blessings I have 
received ! Thank the Lord for all his mercies ! " 



THE GOOD OLD GRANDMOTHER, 

WHO DIED AGED EIGHTY. 

SOFTLY wave the silver hair 
From off that aged brow ! 
That crown of glory, worn so long, 
A fitting crown is now. 

Fold reverently the weary hands, 

That toiled so long and well 5 
And, while your tears of sorrow fall, 

Let sweet thanksgivings swell. 

That life-work, stretching o'er long years, 

A varied web has been ; 
With silver strands by sorrow wrought, 

And sunny gleams between. 

These silver hairs stole softly on, 

Like flakes of falling snow, 
That wrap the green earth lovingly, 

When autumn breezes blow. 

Each silver hair, each wrinkle there, 
Records some good deed done ; 



38 THE GOOD OLD GRANDMOTHER. 

Some flower she cast along the way, 
Some spark from love's bright sun. 

How bright she always made her home ! 

It seemed as if the floor 
Was always flecked with spots of sun, 

And barred with brightness o'er. 

The very falling of her step 

Made music as she went ; 
A loving song was on her lip, 

The song of full content. 

And now, in later years, her word 

Has been a blessed thing 
In many a home, where glad she saw 

Her children's children spring. 

Her widowed life has happy been, 
With brightness born of heaven ; 

So pearl and gold in drapery fold 
The sunset couch at even. 

O gently fold the weary hands 
That toiled so long and well ; 

The spirit rose to angel bands, 
When off earth's mantle fell. 

She 's safe within her Father's house, 

Where many mansions be ; 

O pray that thus such rest may come, 

Dear heart, to thee and me ! 

Anonymous. 



THE CONSOLATIONS OF AGE. 

TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN OF ZSCHOKKE S 

AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 




ROM all I have narrated concerning 
my good and evil days, some may infer 
that I have been on the whole a favor- 
ite of fortune; that I may very well 
be philosophic, and maintain a rosy good-humor, 
since, with the exception of a few self-torments of 
the fancy, I have seldom or never experienced 
a misfortune. But indeed I have met with what 
men usually style great misfortunes, or evils, though 
I never so named them. Like every mortal, I 
have had my share of what is called human misery. 
The weight of a sudden load has sometimes, for a 
moment, staggered me and pressed me down, as 
is the case with others. But, with renewed buoy- 
ancy of spirit, I have soon risen again, and borne 
the burden allotted to me, without discontent. 
Nay, more than this, though some may shake 
their heads incredulously, it is a fact that worldly 
suffering has often not been disagreeable to me. 



40 THE CONSOLATIONS OF AGE. 

It has weaned me from placing my trust in tran- 
sitory things. It has shown me the degree of 
strength and self-reliance I could retain, even at 
that period of life when the passions reign. I am 
fully convinced that there is no evil in the world 
but sin. Nothing but consciousness of guilt spins a 
dark thread, which reaches through the web of all 
our days, even unto the grave. God is not the 
author of calamity, but only man, by his weakness, 
his over-estimate of pompous vanities, and the 
selfish nurture of his appetites. He weeps like a 
child because he cannot have his own way, and 
even at seventy years of age is not yet a man. 
He bewails himself, because God does not mind 
him. Yet every outward misfortune is in truth 
as worthy a gift of God as outward success. 

In common with others, I have met with ingrat- 
itude from many ; but it did not disquiet me ; 
because what I had done for them was not done 
for thanks. Friends have deceived me, but it did 
not make me angry with them ; for I saw that I 
had only deceived myself with regard to them. 
I have endured misapprehension and persecution 
with composure, being aware of the unavoidable 
diversity of opinions, and of the passions thereby 
excited. I have borne the crosses of poverty with- 
out a murmur ; for experience had taught me that 
outward poverty often brings inward wealth. I 
have lost a moderate property, which I had ac- 
quired by toil, but such losses did not imbitter me 



THE CONSOLATIONS OF AGE. 41 

for a single day ; they only taught me to work 
and spare. I have been the happy father of happy 
children. Twelve sons and one daughter I have 
counted ; and I have had to sit, with a bleeding 
heart, at the death-bed of four of those sons. As 
they drew their last breath, I felt that divine 
sorrow which transforms the inner man. My 
spirit rested on the Father of the universe, and 
it was well with me. My dead ones were not 
parted from me. Those who remained behind 
drew the more closely to one another, while eager- 
ly looking toward those who had gone before 
them to other mansions of the Great Father. It 
was our custom to think of the deceased as still 
living in the midst of us. We were wont to talk 
about their little adventures, their amusing sallies, 
and the noble traits of their characters. Every- 
thing noteworthy concerning them, as well as 
what related to the living members of the family, 
was recorded by the children in a chronicle they 
kept in the form of a newspaper, and was thus 
preserved from oblivion. Death is something fes- 
tal, great, like all the manifestations of God here 
below. The death of my children hallowed me ; 
it lifted me more and more out of the shows of 
earth, into the divine. It purified my thoughts 
and feelings. I wept, as a child of the dust must 
do ; but in spirit I was calm and cheerful, because 
I knew to whom I and mine belonged. 

At the beginning of old age, I could indeed 



42 THE CONSOLATIONS OF AGE. 

call myself a happy man. On my seventieth 
birthday, I felt as if I were standing on a moun- 
tain height, at whose foot the ocean of eternity 
was audibly rushing ; while behind me, life, with 
its deserts and flower-gardens, its sunny days and 
its stormy days, spread out green, wild, and beau- 
tiful. Formerly, when I read or heard of the 
joylessness of age, I was filled with sadness ; but 
I now wondered that it presented so much that 
was agreeable. The more the world diminished 
and grew dark, the less I felt the loss of it ; for 
the dawn of the next world grew ever clearer 
and clearer. 

Thus rejoicing in God, and with him, I ad- 
vance into the winter of life, beyond which no 
spring awaits me on this planet. The twilight 
of my existence on earth is shining round me ; 
but the world floats therein in a rosy light, more 
beautiful than the dawn of life. Others may 
look back with homesickness to the lost paradise 
of childhood. That paradise was never mine. 
I wandered about, an orphan, unloved, and for- 
saken of all but God. I thank him for this 
allotment ; for it taught me to build my paradise 
within. The solemn evening is at hand, and it 
is welcome. I repent not that I have lived. 
Others, in their autumn, can survey and count 
up their collected harvests. This I cannot. I 
have scattered seed, but whither the wind has 
carried it I know not. The good-will alone was 



THE CONSOLATIONS OF AGE. 43 

mine. God's hand decided concerning the suc- 
cess of my labor. Many an unproductive seed 
I / have sown ; but I do not, on that account, 
complain either of myself or of Heaven. For- 
tune has lavished on me no golden treasures ; but 
contented with what my industry has acquired, 
and my economy has preserved, I enjoy that 
noble independence at which I have 
always aimed ; and out of the little 
I possess I have been some- 
times able to afford assist- 
ance to others who 
were less for- 
tunate. 



An healthy old fellow, that is not a fool, is the 
happiest creature living. It is at that time of life 
only men enjoy their faculties with pleasure and 
satisfaction. It is then we have nothing to manage^ 
as the phrase is ; we speak the downright truth ; 
and whether the rest of the world will give us the 
privilege, or not, we have so little to ask of them, 
that we can take it. — Steele. 




THE OLD MAN DREAMS. 



By OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES. 

OFOR one hour of youthful joy ! 
Give back my twentieth spring ! 
I 'd rather laugh a bright-haired boy, 
Than reign a gray-beard king ! 

Off with the wrinkled spoils of age ! 

Away with learning's crown ! 
Tear out life's wisdom-written page, 

And dash its trophies down ! 

One moment let my life-blood stream 
From boyhood's fount of fame ! 

Give me one giddy, reeling dream 
Of life all love and flame ! 

My listening angel heard the prayer, 

And, calmly smiling, said, 
" If I but touch thy silvered hair, 

Thy hasty wish hath sped. 

" But is there nothing in thy track 
To bid thee fondly stay, 



THE OLD MAN DREAMS. 45 

While the swift seasons hurry back 
To find the wished-for day ? " 

Ah, truest soul of womankind ! 

Without thee, what were life ? 
One bliss I cannot leave behind : 

I '11 take — my — precious — wife ! 

The angel took a sapphire pen 

And wrote in rainbow dew, 
" The man would be a boy again, 

And be a husband too ! " 

" And is there nothing yet unsaid, 

Before the change appears ? 
Remember, all their gifts have fled 

With those dissolving years ! " 

Why, yes ; for memory would recall 

My fond paternal joys ; 
I could not bear to leave them all : 

I '11 take — my — girl — and — boys ! 

The smiling angel dropped his pen, — 

" Why, this will never do ; 
The man would be a boy again, 

And be a father too !" 

And so I laughed, — my laughter woke 

The household with its noise, — 
And wrote my dream, when morning broke, 

To please the gray-haired boys. 



A RUSSIAN LADY 



OF THE OLD SCHOOL* 



HSlVE me your hand, dear reader, and 
j:J accompany me on a visit to one of my 
neighbors. The day is fine, the blue 
sky of the month of May is a beauti- 
ful object ; the smooth young leaves of the white 
hazel-trees are as brilliant as if they had been 
newly washed. The large, smooth fields are cov- 
ered with that fine young grass which the sheep 
love so much to crop ; on the right and left, on 
the long slopes of the hills, the rye-grass is wav- 
ing, and over its smooth swell glide the shadows 
of the little flying clouds. In the distance, the 
woods are resplendent with the brilliant light ; the 
ponds glitter, and the villages are bathed in yellow 
rays. Innumerable larks fly about, singing and 
beating their wings in unison ; making their ap- 
pearance first in one spot, then in another, they 
rise lightly from the fields, and again are as quick- 



* From Life in the Interior of Russia. 



A RUSSIAN LADY. 47 

ly lost in them. The rooks station themselves on 
the highway, looking up fixedly at the sun ; they 
move aside to let you pass, or foolishly fly forward 
ten paces on the edge of the road. On the slopes 
beyond a ravine a laborer is at his plough, and a 
piebald foal, with its miserable little tail, dishev- 
elled mane, and long, frail legs, runs after its 
mother, and we may just hear its plaintive neigh. 
We enter a birch wood, and a fresh and strong 
odor fills the air ; we reach the gate of an enclo- 
sure ; the coachman descends, and, while the 
horses snort, and the right wheeler plays with 
his tail, and rubs his jaw against the pole, he 
opens the creaking gate, and, reseating himself, 
we roll on. 

A village now presents itself, and, after passing 
five or six farm-yards, we turn to the right, and 
descending rapidly, are soon driving along an em- 
bankment. Beyond a pond of moderate extent, 
and behind apple-trees and clustering lilacs, an old 
wooden house is now visible, painted red, and pos- 
sessing two chimneys. We drive along a paling 
on the left, and pass through a large open carriage 
entrance, saluted by the husky barkings of three 
old worn-out dogs. My groom gallantly salutes 
an old housekeeper, who is peeping out of the 
pantry through a foot and a half window. We 
draw up before the door near the veranda of a 
gloomy little house. It is the abode of Tatiana 
Borissovna. But there she is herself, saluting us 



48 A RUSSIAN LADY 

from the window. " Good morning, good morn- 
ing, Madame." 

Tatiana Borissovna is a woman of about fifty ; 
she has large bluish-gray eyes, slightly prominent, 
a nose inclined to flatness, cherry cheeks, and a 
double chin. Her face beams with sweetness and 
goodness. She once had a husband, but so long 
ago that no one has any recollection of it. She 
scarcely ever leaves her little property, keeps up 
but a slight connection with her neighbors, seldom 
invites them to her house, and likes none but 
young people. Her father was a poor gentleman, 
and she consequently received a very imperfect 
education ; in other words, she does not speak 
French, and has never seen even Moscow, not 
to speak of St. Petersburg. But, spite of these 
little defects, she manages all her affairs in her 
country life so simply and wisely ; she has so large 
a way of thinking, of feeling, and comprehending 
things ; she is so little accessible to the thousand 
weaknesses which are generally found in our good 
provincial ladies, — poor things, — that, in truth, 
one cannot help admiring her. Only consider 
that she lives all the year round within the pre- 
cincts of her own village and estate, quite isolated, 
and that she remains a stranger to all the tittle- 
tattle of the locality ; does not rail, slander, take 
offence, or choke and fret with curiosity ; that 
envy, jealousy, aversion, and restlessness of body 
and mind, are all unknown to her ; only consider 



OF THE OLD SCHOOL. 49 

this, and grant that she is a marvel. Every day 
after eleven o'clock she is dressed in a gown of 
iron-gray taffeta, and a white cap with long pure 
ribbons ; she likes to eat, and make others do the 
same ; but she eats moderately, and lets others fol- 
low her example. Preserves, fruits, pickled meats, 
are all intrusted to the housekeeper. With what, 
then, does she occupy herself, and how does she 
fill up her day ? She reads, perhaps, you will 
say. No, she does not read ; and, to speak the 
truth, people must think of others than Tatiana 
Borissovna when they print a book. In winter, 
if she is alone, our Tatiana Borissovna sits near a 
window, and quietly knits a stocking ; in summer 
she goes and comes in her garden, where she 
plants and waters flowers, picks the caterpillars 
from her shrubs, puts props under her bushes, and 
sprinkles sand over the garden paths ; then she 
can amuse herself for hours with the feathered race 
in her court-yard, with her kittens and pigeons, 
all of which she feeds herself. She occupies her- 
self very little with housekeeping. If, unexpect- 
edly, any good young neighbor chances to look in, 
she is then as happy as possible ; she establishes 
herself upon her divan, regales her visitor with 
tea, hears all he has to say, sometimes gives him 
little friendly pats on the cheek, laughs heartily at 
his sallies, and speaks little herself. Are you 
annoyed, or the victim of some misfortune ? She 
consoles you with the most sympathizing words, 

3 D 



50 A RUSSIAN LADY. 

and opens up various means of relief, all full of 
good sense. How many there are, who, after 
confiding to her their family secrets and their 
private griefs, have found themselves so relieved 
by unburdening their minds, that they have bathed 
her hands with their tears. In general, she sits 
right before her guest, her head leaning lightly 
on her left hand, looking in his face with so much 
kindly interest, smiling with such friendly good- 
nature, that one can scarcely keep himself from 
saying, " Ah ! what an excellent woman you are, 
Tatiana Borissovna. Come, I will conceal from 
you nothing that weighs upon my heart. ' 
In her delightful, nice little rooms, one 
is so pleased with himself and every- 
body, that he is unwilling to 
leave them ; in this little 
heaven, the weather 
is always at 
"set fair." 

r 

The happiness of life may be greatly increased 
by small courtesies in which there is no parade, 
whose voice is too still to tease, and which manifest 
themselves by tender and affectionate looks, and 
little kind acts of attention, giving others the pref- 
erence in every little enjoyment at the table, in 
the field, walking, sitting, or standing. — Sterne. 



THE OLD MAN'S SONG. 



TO HIS WIFE. 

OH, don't be sorrowful, darling ! 
Now don't be sorrowful, pray ! 
For, taking the year together, my dear, 
There is n't more night than day. 

'Tis rainy weather, my darling ; 

Time's waves they heavily run ; 
But, taking the year together, my dear, 

There is n't more cloud than sun. 

"We are old folks now, my darling ; 

Our heads they are growing gray ; 
But, taking the year all round, my dear, 

You will always find the May. 



We 've had our May, my darling, 

And our roses, long ago ; 
And the time of the year is coming, my dear, 

For the long dark nights and the snow. 



52 THE OLD MAN'S SONG. 

But God is God, my darling, 

Of night, as well as of day ; 
And we feel and know that we can go 

Wherever He leads the way. 

Ay, God of the night, my darling ; 

Of the night of death so grim. 
The gate that from life leads out, good wife, 

Is the gate that leads to Him. 

Anonymous. 



THE TWENTY-SEVENTH OF MARCH. 

THE BIRTHDAY OF . 

Now be the hours that yet remain to thee 

Stormy or sunny, sympathy and love, 

That inextinguishably dwell within 

Thy heart, shall give a beauty and a light 

To the most desolate moments, like the glow 

Of a bright fireside in the wildest day ; 

And kindly words and offices of good 

Shall wait upon thy steps, as thou goest on, 

Where God shall lead thee, till thou reach the gates 

Of a more genial season, and thy path 

Be lost to human eye among the bowers 

And living fountains of a brighter land. 

Wm. C. Bryant. 




A CHRISTMAS STORY FOR 
GRANDFATHER. 

By CHARLES DICKENS. 




NCE upon a time, a good many years 



11 a g°? there was a traveller, and he set 
out upon a journey. It was a magic 
journey, and was to seem very long 
when he began it, and very short when he got 
half-way through. 

He travelled along a rather dark path for some 
little time, without meeting anything, until at last 
he came to a beautiful child. So he said to the 
child, " What do you here ? ' And the child said, 
" lam always at play. Come and play with me ! ' 

So, he played with that child the whole day 
long, and they were very merry. The sky was 
so blue, the sun was so bright, the water was so 
sparkling, the leaves were so green, the flowers 
were so lovely, and they heard such singing-birds, 
and saw so many butterflies, that everything was 
beautiful. This was in fine weather. When it 



S4 A CHRISTMAS STORY 

rained, they loved to watch the falling drops and 
to smell the fresh scents. When it blew, it was 
delightful to listen to the wind, and fancy what it 
said, as it came rushing from its home — where 
was that, they wondered ! — whistling and howl- 
ing, and driving the clouds before it, bending the 
trees, rumbling in the chimneys, shaking the house, 
and making the sea roar in fury. But when it 
snowed, that was the best of all ; for they liked 
nothing so well as to look up at the white flakes 
falling fast and thick, like down from the breasts 
of millions of white birds ; and to see how smooth 
and deep the drift was, and to listen to the hush 
upon the paths and roads. 

They had plenty of the finest toys in the world, 
and the most astonishing picture-books, all about 
scimitars and slippers and turbans, and dwarfs and 
giants, and genii and fairies, and blue-beards and 
bean-stalks, and riches, and caverns and forests, 
and Valentines and Orsons : and all new and all 
true. 

But one day, of a sudden, the traveller lost the 
child. He called to him over and over again, but 
got no answer. So, he went upon his road, and 
went on for a little while without meeting any- 
thing, until at last he came to a handsome boy. 
So, he said to the boy, " What do you here ? " 
And the boy said, " I am always learning. Come 
and learn with me." 

So he learned with that boy about Jupiter and 



FOR GRANDFATHER. ^ 

Juno, and the Greeks and the Romans, and I 
don't know what, and learned more than I could 
tell, — or he either ; for he soon forgot a great 
deal of it. But they were not always learning ; 
they had the merriest games that ever were played. 
They rowed upon the river in summer, and skated 
on the ice in winter ; they were active afoot, and 
active on horseback ; at cricket, and all games at 
ball ; at prisoners' base, hare and hounds, follow 
my leader, and more sports than I can think of; 
nobody could beat them. They had holidays, too, 
and Twelfth cakes, and parties where they danced 
all night till midnight, and real theatres, where 
they saw palaces of real gold and silver rise out 
of the real earth, and saw all the wonders of the 
world at once. As to friends, they had such dear 
friends, and so many of them, that I want the time 
to reckon them up. They were all young, like the 
handsome boy, and were never to be strange to 
one another all their lives through. 

Still, one day, in the midst of all these pleasures, 
the traveller lost the boy, as he had lost the child, 
and, after calling on him in vain, went on upon 
his journey. So he went on for a little while 
without seeing anything, until at last he came to 
a young man. So, he said to the young man, 
" What do you here ? " And the young man 
said, " I am always in love. Come and love with 



me." 



So, he went away with that young man, and 



56 A CHRISTMAS STORY 

presently they came to one of the prettiest girls 
that ever was seen, — just like Fanny in the corner 
there, — and she had eyes like Fanny, and hair 
like Fanny, and dimples like Fanny's, and she 
laughed and colored just as Fanny does while I 
am talking about her. So, the young man fell in 
love directly, — just as Somebody I won't mention, 
the first time he came here, did with Fanny. 
Well! He was teased sometimes, — just as Some- 
body used to be by Fanny ; and they quarrelled 
sometimes, — just as Somebody and Fanny used 
to quarrel ; and they made it up, and sat in the 
dark, and wrote letters every day, and never 
were happy asunder, and were always looking 
out for one another, and pretending not to, and 
were engaged at Christmas time, and sat close to 
one another by the fire, and were going to be 
married very soon, — all exactly like Somebody I 
won't mention and Fanny ! 

But the traveller lost them one day, as he had 
lost the rest of his friends, and, after calling to 
them to come back, which they never did, went 
on upon his journey. So, he went on for a little 
while without seeing anything, until at last he 
came to a middle-aged gentleman. So, he said to 
the gentleman, "What are you doing here?' 
And his answer was, " I am always busy. Come 
and be busy with me ! " 

So, then he began to be very busy with that 
gentleman, and they went on through the wood 



FOR GRANDFATHER. 57 

together. The whole journey was through a 
wood, only it had been open and green at first, 
like a wood in spring ; and now began to be thick 
and dark, like a wood in summer ; some of the 
little trees that had come out earliest were even 
turning brown. The gentleman was not alone, 
but had a lady of about the same age with him, 
who was his wife : and they had children, who 
were with them too. So, they all went on to- 
gether through the wood, cutting down the trees, 
and making a path through the branches and the 
fallen leaves, and carrying burdens, and working 
hard. 

Sometimes they came to a long green avenue 
that opened into deeper woods. Then they would 
hear a very little distant voice crying, " Father, 
father, I am another child ! Stop for me ! ' 
And presently they would see a very little figure, 
growing larger as it came along, running to join 
them. When it came up, they all crowded 
round it, and kissed and welcomed it ; and then 
they all went on together. 

Sometimes they came to several avenues at 
once ; and then they all stood still, and one of the 
children said, " Father, I am going to sea " ; and 
another said, " Father, I am going to India " ; and 
another, " Father, I am going to seek my fortune 
where I can " ; and another, " Father, I am going 
to heaven ! " So, with many tears at parting, 

they went, solitary, down those avenues, each 

3* 



58 ^ CHRISTMAS STORY 

child upon its way; and the child who went to 
heaven, rose into the golden air and vanished. 

Whenever these partings happened, the traveller 
looked at the gentleman, and saw him glance up 
at the sky above the trees, where the day was 
beginning to decline, and the sunset to come on. 
He saw, too, that his hair was turning gray. But 
they never could rest long, for they had their jour- 
ney to perform, and it was necessary for them to 
be always busy. 

At last, there had been so many partings that 
there were no children left, and only the traveller, 
the gentleman, and the lady went upon their way 
in company. And now the wood was yellow ; 
and now brown ; and the leaves, even of the 
forest-trees, began to fall. 

So they came to an avenue that was darker 
than the rest, and were pressing forward on their 
journey without looking down it, when the lady 
stopped. 

" My husband," said the lady, " I am called." 

They listened, and they heard a voice a long 
way down the avenue say, " Mother, mother ! " 

It was the voice of the first child who had said, 
" 1 am going to heaven ! " and the father said, 
" I pray not yet. The sunset is very near. I 
pray not yet." 

But the voice cried, " Mother, mother ! " with- 
out minding him, though his hair was now quite 
white, and tears were on his face. 

Then, the mother, who was already drawn into 



FOR GRANDFATHER. 59 

the shade of the dark avenue, and moving away 
with her arms still around his neck, kissed him arid 
said, u My dearest, I am summoned, and I go ! " 
And she was gone. And the traveller and he 
were left alone together. 

And they went on and on together, until they 
came to very near the end of the wood ; so near, 
that they could see the sunset shining red before 
them through the trees. 

Yet, once more, while he broke his way among 
the branches, the traveller lost his friend. He 
called and called, but there was no reply, and 
when he passed out of the wood and saw the 
peaceful sun going down upon a wide purple pros- 
pect, he came to an old man sitting upon a fallen 
tree. So, he said to the old man, " What do 
you here ? ' And the old man said, with a calm 
smile, " I am always remembering. Come and 
remember with me." 

So, the traveller sat down by the side of the old 
man, face to face with the serene sunset ; and all 
his friends came softly back and stood around him. 
The beautiful child, the handsome boy, the young 
man in love, the father, mother, and children : 
every one of them was there, and he had lost 
nothing. So, he loved them all, and was kind and 
forbearing with them all, and was always pleased 
to watch them all, and they all honored and loved 
him. And I think the traveller must be yourself, 
dear grandfather, because it is what you do to us, 
and what we do to you. 



JOHN ANDERSON, MY JO. 

By ROBERT BURNS. 



JOHN ANDERSON, my jo, John, 
When we were first acquent, 
Your locks were like the raven, 

Your bonnie brow was brent * ; 
But now your head 's turned bald, John 

Your locks are like the snow ; 
But blessings on your frosty pow, 
John Anderson, my jo. 



John Anderson, my jo, John, 

We clamb the hill thegither ; 
And mony a canty f day, John, 

We 've had wi' ane anither : 
Now we maun totter down, John, 

But hand in hand we '11 go, 
And sleep thegither at the foot, 

John Anderson, my jo. 

"When thoughtful people sing these admirable verses, they are 
apt to long to hear of something beyond the foot of the 4 hill. 
This want has been extremely well supplied by Mr. Charles 
Gould, of New York, in the following verse : — 

* Smooth. t Merry. 



JOHN ANDERSON, MY JO. 61 

John Anderson, my jo, John, 

When we have slept thegither 
The sleep that a' maun sleep, John, 

We '11 wake wi' ane anither : 
And in that better warld, John, 

Nae sorrow shall we know ; 
Nor fear we e'er shall part again, 

John Anderson, my jo. 



OLD FOLKS AT HOME. 

More pleasant seem their own surroundings, 

Though quaint and old, 
Than newer homes, with their aboundings 

Of marble, silk, and gold. 
For 't is the heart inspires home-feelings, 

In hut or hall, 
Where memory, with its fond revealings, 

Sheds a tender light o'er all. 

They love the wonted call to meeting, 

By their old bell ; 
They love the old familiar greeting 

From friends who know them well. 
Their homesick hearts are always yearning, 

When they 're away ; 
And ever is their memory turning 

To scenes where they used to stay. 

L. M. C. 



EVERLASTING YOUTH. 



By Rev. EDMUND H. SEARS.* 




LD age, in some of its aspects, is a 
most interesting and solemn mystery, 
though to the outward eye it is mere- 
pplpi? ly the gradual waning and extinction 
of existence. All the faculties fold themselves up 
to a long, last sleep. First, the senses begin to 
close, and lock in the soul from the outward world. 
The hearing is generally the first to fail, shutting 
off the mind from the tones of affection and of 
melody. The sight fails next ; and the pictures 
of beauty, on the canvas spread round us morn- 
ing and evening, become blurred. The doors and 
windows are shut toward the street. The invasion 
keeps on steadily toward the seat of life. The 
images of the memory lose their outline, run 
together, and at last melt away into darkness. 
Now and then, by a special effort, rents are made, 
in the clouds, and we see a vista opening through 

* From Foregleams of Immortality. 



EVERLASTING YOUTH. 63 

the green glades of other years. But the edges 
of the cloud soon close again. It settles down 
more densely than ever, and all the past is blotted 
out. Then the reason fails, and the truths it had 
elaborated flicker and are extinguished. Only the 
affections remain. Happy for us, if these also 
have not become soured or chilled. It is our be- 
lief, however, that these may be preserved in their 
primitive freshness and glow ; and that in the old 
age where the work of regeneration is consum- 
mating, the affections are always preserved bright 
and sweet, like roses of Eden, occupying a charmed 
spot in the midst of snows. In old age, men gen- 
erally seem to have grown either better or worse. 
The reason is, that the internal life is then more 
revealed, and its spontaneous workings are more 
fully manifested. The intellectual powers are no 
longer vigilant to control the expression of the in- 
ternal feelings, and so the heart is generally laid 
open. What we call the moroseness and peevish- 
ness of age is none other than the real disposition, 
no longer hedged in, and kept in decency, by the 
intellect, but coming forth without disguise. So 
again, that beautiful simplicity and infantile meek- 
ness, sometimes apparent in old age, beaming 
forth, like the dawn of the coming heaven, through 
all the relics of natural decay, are the spontaneous 
effusions of sanctified affections. There is, there- 
fore, a good and a bad sense, in which we speak 
of the second childhood. Childhood is the state 



64 EVERLASTING YOUTH. 

of spontaneity. In the first childhood, before the 
intellect is formed, the heart answers truly to all 
impressions from without ; as the iEolian harp 
answers to every touch of the breeze. In the 
second childhood, after the intellect is broken 
down, the same phenomenon comes round again ; 
and in it you read the history of all the interven- 
ing years. What those years have done for the 
regeneration of the soul will appear, now that its 
inmost state is translucent, no longer concealed by 
the expediencies learned of intellectual prudence. 
When the second childhood is true and genial, 
the work of regeneration approaches its consum- 
mation ; and the light of heaven is reflected from 
silver hairs, as if one stood nearer to Paradise, and 
caught reflections of the resurrection glories. 

But alas ! is this all that is left of us, amid 
the memorials of natural decay ? Senses, memory, 
reason, all blotted out, in succession, and instinc- 
tive affection left alone to its spontaneous workings, 
like a solitary flower breathing its fragrance upon 
snows ? And how do we know but this, too, will 
close up its leaves, and fall before the touch of the 
invader ? Then the last remnant of the man is no 
more. Or, if otherwise, must so many souls enter 
upon their immortality denuded of everything but 
the heart's inmost and ruling love ? 

How specious and deceptive are natural appear- 
ances ! What seemed to the outward eye the wan- 
ing of existence, and the loss of faculties, is only 



EVERLASTING YOUTH. 65 

locking them up successively, in order to keep 
them more secure. Old age, rather than death, 
answers strictly to the analogies of sleep. It is the 
gradual folding in and closing up of all the volun- 
tary powers, after they have become worn and 
tired, that they may wake again refreshed and 
renovated for the higher work that awaits them. 
The psychological evidence is pretty full and deci- 
sive, that old age is sleep, but not decay. The 
reason lives, though its eye is temporarily closed ; 
and some future day it will give a more perfect 
and pliant form to the affections. Memory re- 
mains, though its functions are suspended for a 
while. All its chambers may be exhumed here- 
after, and their frescoes, like those of the buried 
temples at Meroe, will be found preserved in un- 
fading colors. The ivhole record of our life is laid 
up within us ; and only the overlayings of the 
physical man prevent the record from being always 
visible. The years leave their debris successively 
upon the spiritual nature, till it seems buried and 
lost beneath the layers. On the old man's memory 
every period seems to have obliterated a former 
one ; but the life which he has lived can no more 
be lost to him, or destroyed, than the rock-strata 
can be destroyed by being buried under layers of 
sand. In those hours when the bondage of the 
senses is less firm, and the life within has freer 
motion ; or, in those hours of self-revelation, which 
are sometimes experienced under a clearer and 

E 



66 EVEBLASTING YOUTH. 

more pervading light from above, — the past with- 
draws its veil ; and we see, rank beyond rank, as 
along the rows of an expanding amphitheatre, the 
images of successive years, called out as by some 
wand of enchantment. There are abundant facts, 
which go to prove that the decline and forgetful- 
ness of years are nothing more than the hardening 
of the mere envelopment of the man, shutting in the 
inmost life, which merely waits the hour to break 
away from its bondage. 

De Quincey says : " I am assured that there is 
no such thing as forgetting possible to the mind. 
A thousand circumstances may and will interpose 
a veil between our present consciousness and the 
secret inscriptions of the mind ; but alike, whether 
veiled or unveiled, the inscription remains forever ; 
just as the stars seem to withdraw from the com- 
mon light of day ; whereas, we all know that it is 
the light which is drawn over them, as a veil, and 
that they are waiting to be revealed, when the 
obscuring daylight shall have withdrawn." 

The resurrection is the exact inverse of natural 
decay ; and the former is preparing ere the latter 
has ended. The affections, being the inmost life, 
are the nucleus of the whole man. They are the 
creative and organiflc centre, whence are formed 
the reason and the memory, and thence their em- 
bodiment in the more outward form of members 
and organs. The whole interior mechanism is 
complete in the chrysalis, ere the wings, spotted 



EVERLASTING YOUTH. 67 

with light, are fluttering in the zephyrs of morn- 
ing. St. Paul, who, in this connection, is speak- 
ing specially of the resurrection of the just, pre- 
sents three distinct points of contrast between 
the natural body and the spiritual. One is weak, 
the other is strong. One is corruptible, the other 
is incorruptible. One is without honor, the other 
is glorious. By saying that one is natural, and 
the other spiritual, he certainly implies that one is 
better adapted than the other to do the functions 
of spirit, and more perfectly to organize and man- 
ifest its powers. How clearly conceivable then is 
it that when man becomes free of the coverings of 
mere natural decay, he comes into complete pos- 
session of all that he is, and all that he has ever 
lived ; that leaf after leaf in our whole book of life 
is opened backward, and all its words and letters 
come out in more vivid colors ! 

In the other life, therefore, appears the won- 
derful paradox that the oldest people are the 
youngest. To grow in age is to come into ever- 
lasting youth. To become old in years is 
to put on the freshness of perpetual 
prime. We drop from us the de- 
bris of the past, we breathe the 
ether of immortality, and 
our cheeks mantle 
with eternal 
bloom. 



LIFE. 



The following lines were by Mrs. Anna Letitia Barbauld, an 
English writer of great merit, extensively known as the author 
of excellent Hymns, and Early Lessons for Children. She was 
born in 1743, and lived to be nearly eighty-two years old. She 
employed the latter part of her life in editing a series of the best 
English novels and essays, accompanied with biographical sketches 
of the authors ; and compositions in prose and verse continued 
to be her favorite occupation to the last. 

LIFE ! I know not what thou art, 
But know that thou and I must part ; 
And when, or how, or where we met, 
I own to me 's a secret yet. 



Life ! we have been long together, 
Through pleasant and through cloudy weather. 
'T is hard to part when friends are dear ; 
Perhaps 't will cost a sigh, a tear. 
Then steal away ; give little warning ; 

Choose thine own time ; 
Say not Good Night ; but in some brighter clime 

Bid me Good Morning ! 



THE MYSTERIOUS PILGRIMAGE. 



By L. MARIA CHILD. 



nV^-W ^. 



'$£$) HERE was a traveller who set out 
upon a new road, not knowing whith- 
er it would lead him, nor whence he 
gpift eame, for he had been conveyed thither 
blindfold, and the bandage had been removed in 
his sleep. When he woke up he found himself 
among all sorts of pretty novelties, and he ran 
about hither and thither, eagerly asking, " What 
is this ? " " What is that ? " His activity was 
untiring. He tried to catch everything he saw, 
and hold it fast in his hand. But humming-birds 
whirred in his ears, and as soon as he tried to 
grasp them they soared up out of his reach, and 
left him gazing at their burnished throats glisten- 
ing in the sunshine. Daintily painted butterflies 
poised themselves on such lowly flowers, that he 
thought he had but to stoop and take them ; but 
they also floated away as soon as he approached. 
He walked through stately groves, where the 



70 THE MYSTERIOUS PILGRIMAGE. 

sunshine was waltzing with leaf-shadows, and he 
tried to pick up the airy little dancers. " They 
won't let me catch 'em ! " he exclaimed, petulantly. 
But on he hurried in pursuit of a squirrel, which 
ran nimbly away from him up into a tree, and 
there he sat on the high boughs, flourishing his 
pretty tail in the air. And so the traveller went 
along the wondrous road, always trying for some- 
thing he could n't catch, not knowing; that the 
pleasure was in the pursuit. 

As he went on, the path widened and grew 
more attractive. Birds of radiant colors flitted 
about, and filled the air with charming variations 
of melody. Trees threw down showers of blos- 
soms as he passed, and beneath his feet was a car- 
pet of emerald-colored velvet, embroidered with a 
profusion of golden stars. Better than all, troops 
of handsome young men and lovely maidens joined 
him, all put blindfolded into the road, and travel- 
ling they knew not whither. And now they all set 
out upon a race after something higher up than 
squirrels or butterflies could go. " Look there ! 
Look there ! See what is before us ! " they ex- 
claimed. And lo ! they all saw, away beyond, on 
hills of fleecy cloud, the most beautiful castles ! 
The walls were of pearl, and rainbow pennons 
waved from the gold-pointed turrets. " We will 
take possession of those beautiful castles ! That 
is where we are going to live ! " they shouted to 
each other ; and on they ran in pursuit of the 



THE MYSTERIOUS PILGRIMAGE. 71 

rainbows. But they often paused in the chase, to 
frolic together. They laughed, and sang merry 
songs, and pelted each other with flowers, and 
danced within a ring of roses. It was a beautiful 
sight to see their silky ringlets tossed about by the 
breeze, and shining in the sunlight. But the game 
they liked best was looking into each other's eyes. 
They said they could see a blind boy there, with 
a bow and arrow ; and always they were playing 
bo-peep with that blind boy, who was n't so blind 
as he seemed ; for whenever he aimed his arrow 
at one of them, he was almost sure to hit. But 
they said the arrow was wreathed with flowers, 
and carried honey on its point ; and there was 
nothing they liked quite so well as being shot at 
by the blind boy. 

Sometimes their sport was interrupted by some 
stern-looking traveller, who said to them, in solemn 
tones, u Why do you make such fools of your- 
selves ? Do you know whither this road leads ? " 
Then they looked at each other bewildered, and 
said they did not. "I have been on this road 
much longer than you have," he replied ; " and 
I think it is my duty to turn back sometimes 
and warn those who are coming after me. I tell 
you this road, where you go dancing so care- 
lessly, abounds with pitfalls, generally concealed 
by flowers ; and it ends in an awful, deep, dark 
hole. You are all running, like crazy fools, af- 
ter rainbow castles in the air. You will never 



72 THE MYSTERIOUS PILGRIMAGE. 

come up with them. They will vanish and leave 
nothing but a great black cloud. But what you 
have most to fear is a cruel giant, who is sure to 
meet you somewhere on the road. Nobody ever 
knows where ; for he is invisible. Whatever he 
touches with his dart turns first to marble and 
then to ashes. You ought to be thinking of him 
and his dreadful arrow, instead of the foolish 
archer that you call the blind boy. Instead of 
chattering about roses and rainbows, you ought 
to be thinking of the awful black pit at the end 
of the road." 

His words chilled the young men and maidens, 
like wind from a cavern. They looked at each 
other thoughtfully, and said, " Why does he try 
to spoil our sport with stories of pitfalls and invisi- 
ble giants ? We don't know where the pitfalls 
are ; and if we go poking on the ground for them, 
how can we see the sunshine and the birds ? ' 
Some of the more merry began to laugh at the 
solemn traveller, and soon they were all dancing 
again, or hurrying after the rainbow castles. They 
threw roses at each other by the way ; and often 
the little blind archer was in the heart of the 
roses, and played them mischievous tricks. They 
laughed merrily, and said to each other, " This is 
a beautiful road. It is a pity old Howlit don't 
know how to enjoy it." 

But as our traveller passed on his way, he 
found that the words of the lugubrious prophet 



THE MYSTERIOUS PILGRIMAGE. 73 

were sometimes verified. Now and then some 
of his companions danced into pitfalls covered with 
flowers. He himself slipped several times, but 
recovered his balance, and said it would teach him 
to walk more carefully. Others were bruised and 
faint in consequence of falls, and made no effort 
to rise up. In the kindness of his heart, he would 
not leave them thus ; but always he tried to cheer 
them, saying, " Up, and try again, my brother ! 
You won't make the same mistake again." Cheer- 
ful and courageous as he was, however, he saw the 
rainbow castles gradually fading from his vision ; 
but they did not leave a great black cloud, as the 
solemn traveller had foretold ; they melted into 
mild and steady sunlight. The young men and 
maidens, who had frolicked with him, went off in 
pairs, some into one bypath, some into another. 
Hand in hand with our traveller went a gentle 
companion, named Mary, in whose eyes he had 
long been playing at bo-peep with the blind boy. 
When they talked of this, they said they could 
still see him in each other's eye-mirrors, but now 
he had put his arrows into the quiver, and was 
stringing pearls. Mary brought little children 
to her companion, and they were more charming 
than all the playthings of their former time. They 
gazed fondly into the eyes of the little strangers, 
and said, " We see angels in these azure depths, 
and they are lovelier than the blind boy ever 
was." They played no more with roses now, but 

4 



74 THE MYSTERIOUS PILGRIMAGE. 

gathered ripe fruits, glowing like red and purple 
jewels, and planted grain which grew golden in 
the sunshine. Companions with whom they had 
parted by the w T ay occasionally came into their 
path again, as they journeyed on. Their moods 
were various, according to their experiences. 
Some still talked joyfully of the ever-varying beau- 
ty of the road. Others sighed deeply, and said 
they had found nothing to console them for 
withered roses, and rainbows vanished. Some- 
times, when inquiries were made about former 
acquaintances, the answer was that the invisible 
giant had touched them, and they had changed to 
marble. Then a shadow seemed to darken the 
pleasant road, and they spoke to each other in low 
tones. Some of those who sighed over withered 
roses, told of frightful things done by this invisible 
giant, and of horrid places whither they had heard 
he conveved his victims. To children who were 
chasing butterflies, and to young men and maidens 
who were twining rose-wreaths, they said, " You 
ought not to be wasting your time with such friv- 
olous pastimes ; you ought to be thinking of the 
awful invisible one, who is near us when we least 
think of it." They spoke in lugubrious tones, as 
the solemn traveller had aforetime spoken to them. 
But our traveller, who was cheerful of heart, said : 
"It is not kind to throw a shadow across their 
sunshine. Let them enjoy themselves." And his 
Mary asked whether He who made the beautiful 



' THE MYSTERIOUS PILGRIMAGE. 75 

road had wasted time when He made the roses 
and the butterflies ? And why had He made 
them, if they were not to be enjoyed ? 

But clouds sometimes came over this sunshine 
of their souls. One of the little cherub boys 
whom Mary had brought to her companion re- 
ceived the invisible touch, and became as marble. 
Then a shadow fell across their path, and went 
with them as they walked. They pressed each 
other's hands in silence, but the thought was ever 
in their hearts, "Whom will he touch next?" 
The little cherub was not in the marble form ; he 
was still with them, though they knew it not. 
Gradually their pain was softened, and they found 
comfort in remembering his winning ways. Mary 
said to her companion : " As we have travelled 
along this mysterious road, the scenery has been 
continually changing, even as we have changed. 
But one form of beauty has melted into another, 
so gently, so imperceptibly, that we have been 
unconscious of the change, until it had passed. 
Where all is so full of blessing, dearest, it cannot 
be that this invisible touch is an exception." The 
traveller sighed, and merely answered, "It is a 
great mystery " ; but her words fell on his heart 
like summer dew on thirsty flowers. They 
thought of the cherub boy, who had disappeared 
from their vision, and the tears dropped slowly; 
but as they fell, a ray of light from heaven kissed 
them and illumined them with rainbows. They 



76 THE MYSTERIOUS PILGRIMAGE. 

clasped each other's hands more closely, and trav- 
elled on. Sometimes they smiled at each other, 
as they looked on their remaining little ones, 
running hither and thither chasing the bright but- 
terflies. And Mary, who was filled with gentle 
wisdom, said, " The butterfly was once a crawling 
worm ; but when it became stiff and cold, there 
emerged from it this winged creature, clothed with 
beauty." He pressed her hand tenderly ; for 
again her soothing words fell upon his heart like 
dew on thirsty flowers. 

Thus lovingly they passed on together, and 
manv a blessing followed them ; for whenever a 
traveller came along who was burdened and weary, 
they cheered him with hopeful words and helped 
to carry his load ; and ever as they did so a softer 
light shone upon the landscape and bathed all 
things with a luminous glory. And still the scene 
was changing, ever changing. The glowing fruit 
had disappeared, and the golden grain was gath- 
ered. But now the forest-trees were all aglow, 
and looked like great pyramids of gorgeous flow- 
ers. The fallen foliage of the pines formed a soft 
carpet under their feet, ornamented with the shad- 
ed brown of cones and acorns, and sprinkled 
with gold-tinted leaves from the trees. As they 
looked on the mellowed beauty of the scenery, 
Mary said : " The Being who fashioned us, and 
created this marvellous road for us to travel 
in, must be wondrously wise and loving. How 



THE MYSTERIOUS PILGRIMAGE. 77 

gradually and gently all things grow, and pass 
through magical changes. When we had had 
enough of chasing butterflies, the roses came to 
bind us together in fragrant wreaths. When the 
roses withered, the grain-fields waved beautifully in 
the wind, and purple and yellow grapes hung from 
the vines, like great clusters of jewels. And now, 
when fruit and grain are gathered, the forests are 
gorgeous in the sunlight, like immense beds of 
tulips. A friendly ' Good morning ' to something 
new, mingles ever with the 4 Good night, beloved,' 
to something that is passing away. Surely, dear- 
est, this road, so full of magical transformations, 
must lead us to something more beautiful than 
itself." The traveller uncovered his head, raised 
his eyes reverently toward heaven, and said : " It 
is a great mystery. O Father, give us faith ! " 
Before the glowing tints departed from the trees, 
Mary's cheek grew pale, and the light of her eyes 
began to fade. Then the traveller shuddered and 
shivered ; for a great shadow came between him 
and the sunshine ; he felt the approach of the in- 
visible. More and more closely he pressed the 
beloved companion, to warm her with his heart. 
But her mild eyes closed, and the graceful form 
became as marble. No more could he look into 
those serene depths, where he had first seen the 
blind boy shooting his arrows, afterward stringing 
pearls, and then as an angel twining amaranthine 
crowns. In the anguish of his desolation, he 



78 THE MYSTERIOUS PILGRIMAGE. 

groaned aloud, and exclaimed : " thou Dread 
Destroyer ! take me, too ! I cannot live alone ! 
I cannot ! " A gentle voice whispered, " Thou 
art not alone, dearest. I am still with thee ! " but 
in the tumult of his grief he heard it not. The 
children Marv had given him twined their soft 
arms about his neck, and said : " Do not leave us 
alone ! We cannot find our way, without thee to 
guide us." For their sakes, he stifled his groans, 
and knelt down and prayed, '.' O Father, give me 
strength and faith ! " 

Patiently he travelled on, leading the children. 
By degrees they joined themselves to companions, 
and went off in pairs into new paths, as he and his 
Mary had done. The scenery around him grew 
more dreary. The black branches of the trees 
stood- in gloomy relief against a cold gray sky. 
The beautiful fields of grain ripening in the sun- 
shine had changed to dry stubble fluttering mourn- 
fully in the wind. But Nature, loath to part with 
Beauty, still wore a few red berries, as a necklace 
among her rags, and trimmed her scanty garments 
with evergreen. But the wonderful transforma- 
tions had not ceased. The fluttering brown rags 
suddenly changed to the softest ermine robe, flash- 
ing with diamonds, and surmounted by a resplen- 
dent silver crown. The magical change reminded 
our traveller that his lost companion had said, 
" Surely a road so full of beautiful changes must 
lead to something more beautiful than itself." 
Again he knelt in reverence, and said, " All 



THE MYSTERIOUS PILGRIMAGE. 79 

things around me are miraculous. O Father, 
give me faith ! " 

The road descended into a deep valley, ever 
more narrow and dark. The nights grew longer. 
The ground was rugged and frozen, and the rough 
places hurt the pilgrim's stiff and weary feet. But 
when he was joined by pilgrims more exhausted 
than himself, he spoke to them in words of good 
cheer, and tried to help them over the rough 
places. The sunshine was no longer warm and 
golden, but its silvery light was still beautiful, and 
through the leafless boughs of the trees the moon 
and the stars looked down serenely on him. The 
children whom he had guided sometimes came and 
sang sweetly to him ; and sometimes, when he was 
listening in the stillness, he seemed to hear myste- 
rious echoes within himself, as if from a musical 
chime of bells on the other side of a river. 

The shudderings and shiverings he had felt in 
presence of the cold shadow became more frequent ; 
and he said to himself, " The Dread Destroyer is 
approaching more and more near." With trem- 
bling hands he uncovered his snow-white head, 
and looking upward, he said, " It is a fearful 
mystery. G Father, give me faith ! " Praying 
thus, he sank on the cold ground, and sleepiness 
came over him. He felt something gently raising 
him, and slowly opening his eyes, he said, " Who 
art thou ? " The stranger answered, " I am that 
Dread Destroyer, whose shadow always made thee 
shudder." 



80 THE MYSTERIOUS PILGRIMAGE. 

" Thou ! ' exclaimed the tired pilgrim, in tones 
of joyful surprise ; " why thou art an angel ! " 
" Yes, I am an angel," he replied ; " and none 
but I can lead thee to thy loved ones. Thy 
Heavenly Father has sent me to take thee home." 
Gratefully the weary one sank into the arms of 
the giant he had so much dreaded. " All things 
are ordered in love," he said. " Thy touch is 
friendly, and thy voice like music." 

They passed a narrow bridge over a dark river. 
On the other side was a flowery arch, bearing the 
motto, "The Gate of Life." Within it stood 
Mary and her cherub-boy, shining in transfigured 
light. The child stretched out his hands for an 
embrace, and Mary's welcoming smile was more 
beautiful than it had ever been in the happy old 
time of roses and rainbows. " This is only one 
more of the magical transformations, my beloved," 
she said. " It is as I told thee. The beautiful, 
mysterious road leads to something far more beau- 
tiful than itself. Come and see ! " With tender 
joy he kissed her and the angel child. There was 
a sound of harps and voices above him, singing, 
" The shadow has departed ! " And a cheerful re- 
sponse came from well-remembered voices he had 
left behind him on the road : " We are coming ! 
We are coming ! " Through all the chambers 
of his soul went ringing the triumphant chorus, 
" The shadow has departed ! " with the cheerful 
response, " We are coming ! We are coming ! " 




THE HAPPIEST TIME. 



By ELIZA COOK. 

AN old man sat in his chimney-seat, 
As the morning sunbeam crept to his feet ; 
And he watched the Spring light as it came 
With wider ray on his window frame. 
He looked right on to the Eastern sky, 
But his breath grew long in a trembling sigh, 
And those who heard it wondered much 
What Spirit hand made him feel its touch. 

For the old man was not one of the fair 

And sensitive plants in earth's parterre ; 

His heart was among the senseless things, 

That rarely are fanned by the honey-bee's wings ; 

It bore no film of delicate pride, 

No dew of emotion gathered inside ; 

O, that old man's heart was of hardy kind, 

That seemeth to heed not the sun or the wind. 



He had lived in the world as millions live, 
Ever more ready to take than give ; 

4* 



82 THE HAPPIEST TIME. 

He had worked and wedded, and murmured and blamed, 
And just paid to the fraction what honesty claimed; 
He had driven his bargains and counted his gold, 
Till upwards of threescore years were told ; 
And his keen blue eye held nothing to show 
That feeling had ever been busy below. 

The old man sighed again, and hid 

His keen blue eye beneath its lid ; 

And his wrinkled forehead, bending down, 

Was knitting itself in a painful frown. 

" I 've been looking back," the old man said, 

On every spot where my path has laid, 

Over every year my brain can trace, 

To find the happiest time and place." 

" And where and when," cried one by his side, 
" Have you found the brightest wave in your tide ? 
Come tell me freely, and let me learn, 
How the spark was struck that yet can burn. 
"Was it when you stood in stalwart strength, 
With the blood of youth, and felt that at length 
Your stout right arm could win its bread?" 
The old man quietly shook his head. 

" Then it must have been when love had come, 
With a faithful bride to glad your home ; 
Or when the first-born cooed and smiled, 
And your bosom cradled its own sweet child ; 
Or was it when that first-born joy, 
Grew up to your hope, — a brave, strong boy, — 
And promised to fill the world in your stead ? " 
The old man quietly shook his head. 



THE HAPPIEST TIME. 83 

" Say, was it then when fortune brought 
The round sum you had frugally sought ? 
Was the year the happiest that beheld 
The vision of poverty all dispelled? 
Or was it when you still had more, 
And found you could boast a goodly store 
With labor finished and plenty spread ? " 
The old, man quietly shook his head. 

" Ah, no ! ah, no ! it was longer ago," 

The old man muttered, — sadly and low ! 

" It was when I took my lonely way 

To the lonely woods in the month of May. 

When the Spring light fell as it falleth now, 

With the bloom on the sod and the leaf on the bough ; 

When I tossed up my cap at the nest in the tree ; 

O, that was the happiest time for me. 

" When I used to leap and laugh and shout, 
Though I never knew what my joy was about ; 
And something seemed to warm my breast, 
As I sat on a mossy bank to rest. 
That was the time ; when I used to roll 
On the blue-bells that covered the upland knoll, 
And I never could tell why the thought should be, 
But I fancied the flowers talked to me. 

" Well I remember climbing to reach 

A squirrel brood rocked on the top of a beech ; 

Well I remember the lilies so sweet, 

That I toiled with back to the city street ; 

Yes, that was the time, — the happiest time, — 

When I went to the woods in their May-day prime." 



84 THE HAPPIEST TIME. 

And the old man breathed with a longer sigh, 
And the lid fell closer over his eye. 

O, who would have thought this hard old man 
Had room in his heart for such rainbow span ? 
Who would have deemed that wild copse flowers 
Were tenderly haunting his latest hours ? 
But what did the old man's spirit tell, 
In confessing it loved the woods so well ? 
What do we learn from the old man's sigh, 
But that Nature and Poetry cannot die ? 



ODE OF ANACREON. 

TRANSLATED FROM THE GREEK. 

The women tell me, every day, 
That all my bloom has passed away. 
" Behold ! " the lively lasses cry, 
Behold this mirror with a sigh ! 
Old wintry Time has shed his snows, 
And bald and bare your forehead shows/ 
I will not either think or care 
Whether old Time has thinned my hair ; 
But this I know and this I feel, 
As years advancing on me steal, 
And ever bring the end more near, 
The joys of life become more dear ; 
And had I but one hour to live, 
That hour to cheerfulness I 'd give. 



CICERO'S ESSAY ON OLD AGE. 



The following extracts arc from a discourse "De Senectute," 
by Cicero, the world-renowned Roman orator, who was born one 
hundred and six years before Christ. He is one among many 
pleasant proofs that God never leaves himself without a witness in 
the hearts of men, in any age or country. Cicero says : " I have 
represented these reflections as delivered by the venerable Cato ; 
but in delivering his sentiments, I desire to be understood as fully 
declaring my own." 




|) HOSE who have no internal resources 
of happiness will find themselves un- 
easy in every stage of human life ; but 
8£ to him who is accustomed to derive 
happiness from within himself, no state will appear 
as a real evil into which he is conducted by the 
common and regular course of Nature ; and this 
is peculiarly the case with respect to old age. I 
follow Nature, as the surest guide, and resign 
myself with implicit obedience to her sacred ordi- 
nances. After having wisely distributed peculiar 
and proper enjoyments to all the preceding periods 
of life, it cannot be supposed that she would neg- 



86 ESSAY ON OLD AGE. 

lect the last, and leave it destitute of suitable 
advantages. After a certain point of maturity 
is attained, marks of decay must necessarily ap- 
pear ; but to this unavoidable condition of his 
present being every wise and good man will sub- 
mit with contented and cheerful acquiescence. 

Nothing can be more void of foundation than 
the assertion that old age necessarily disquali- 
fies a man for taking part in the great affairs of 
the world. If an old man cannot perform in busi- 
ness a part which requires the bodily strength and 
energy of more vigorous years, he can act in a 
nobler and more important character. Moment- 
ous affairs of state are not conducted by corporeal 
strength and activity ; they require cool delibera- 
tion, prudent counsel, and authoritative influence ; 
qualifications which are strengthened and improved 
by increase of years. Few among mankind arrive 
at old age ; and this suggests a reason why the 
affairs of the world are not better conducted ; for 
age brings experience, discretion, and judgment, 
without which no well-formed government could 
have been established, or can be maintained. Ap- 
pius Claudius was not only old but blind, when he 
remonstrated in the Senate, with so much force 
and spirit, against concluding a peace with Pyr- 
rhus. The celebrated General Quintus Maximus 
led our troops to battle in his old age, with as 
much spirit as if he had been in the prime and 
vigor of life. It was by his advice and eloquence, 



ESSAY ON OLD AGE. 87 

when lie was extremely old, that the Cincian law 
concerning donatives was enacted. And it was 
not merely in the conspicuous paths of the world 
that this excellent man was truly great. He ap- 
peared still greater in the private and domestic 
scenes of life. There was a dignity in his deport- 
ment, tempered with singular politeness and affa- 
bility ; and time wrought no alteration in his 
amiable qualities. How pleasing and instructive 
was his conversation ! How profound his knowl- 
edge of antiquity and the laws ! His memory was 
so retentive, that there was no event of any note, 
connected with our public affairs, with which he 
was not well acquainted. I eagerly embraced 
every opportunity to enjoy his society, feeling that 
after his death I should never again meet with so 
wise and improving a companion. 

But it is not necessary to be a hero or a states- 
man, in order to lead an easy and agreeable old 
age. That season of life may prove equally serene 
and pleasant to him who has passed his days in the 
retired paths of learning. It is urged that old age 
impairs the memory. It may have that effect on 
those in whom memory was originally infirm, or 
who have not preserved its native vigor by exer- 
cising it properly. But the faculties of the mind 
will preserve their power in old age, unless they 
are suffered to become languid for want of due 
cultivation. Caius Gallus employed himself to the 
very last moments of his long life in measuring the 



88 ESSAY ON OLD AGE. 

distances of the heavenly orbs, and determining 
the dimensions of this our earth. How often has 
the sun risen on his astronomical calculations ! 
How frequently has night overtaken him in the 
same elevated studies ! With what delight did 
he amuse himself in predicting to us, long before 
they happened, the several lunar and solar eclipses ! 
Other ingenious applications of the mind there 
are, though of a lighter nature, which may greatly 
contribute to enliven and amuse the decline of life. 
Thus Noevius, in composing his poem on the Car- 
thaginian war, and Plautus in writing his two last 
comedies, filled up the leisure of their latter days 
with wonderful complacency and satisfaction. I 
can affirm the same of our dramatic poet Livius, 
whom I remember to have seen in his old age ; 
and let me not forget Marcus Cethegus, justly 
st}ded the soul of eloquence, whom I likewise saw 
in his old age exercising even his oratorical talents 
with uncommon force and vivacity. All these old 
men I saw pursuing their respective studies with 
the utmost ardor and alacrity. Solon, in one of 
his poems, written when he was advanced in 
years, glories that he learned something every 
day he lived. Plato occupied himself with philo- 
sophical studies, till they were interrupted by 
death at eighty-one years of age. Isocrates com- 
posed his famous discourse when he was ninety- 
four years old, and he lived five years afterward. 
Sophocles continued to write tragedies when he 



ESSAY ON OLD AGE. 89 

was extremely old. Gray hair proved no obstacle 
to the philosophic pursuits of Pythagoras, Zeno, 
Cleanthes, or the venerable Diogenes. These 
eminent persons persevered in their studies with 
undiminished earnestness to the last moment of 
their extended lives. Leontinus Gorgias, who 
lived to be one hundred and seven years old, pur- 
sued his studies with unremitting assiduity to the 
last. When asked if he did not wish to rid him- 
self of the burden of such prolonged years, he 
replied, " I find no reason to complain of old age." 
The statement that age impairs our strength is 
not without foundation. But, after all, imbecility 
of body is more frequently caused by youthful 
irregularities than by the natural and unavoidable 
consequences of long life. By temperance and 
exercise, a man may secure to his old age no 
inconsiderable degree of his former spirit and 
activity. The venerable Lucius Metellus pre- 
served such a florid old age to his last moments, 
as to have no reason to lament the depredations of 
time. If it must be acknowledged that time in- 
evitably undermines physical strength, it is equally 
true that great bodily vigor is not required in the 
decline of life. A moderate degree of force is 
sufficient for all rational purposes. I no more 
regret the absence of youthful vigor, than when 
young I lamented because I was not endowed with 
the strength of a bull or an elephant. Old age 
has, at least, sufficient strength remaining to train 



90 ESSAY ON OLD AGE. 

the rising generation, and instruct them in the 
duties to winch they may hereafter be called ; and 
certainly there cannot be a more important or a 
more honorable occupation. There is satisfaction 
in communicating every kind of useful knowledge ; 
and it must render a man happy to employ the 
faculties of his mind to so noble and beneficial a 
purpose, how much soever time may have impaired 
his bodily powers. Men of good sense, in the 
evening of life, are generally fond of associating 
with the younger part of the world, and, when 
they discover amiable qualities in them, they find 
it an alleviation of their infirmities to gain their 
affection and esteem ; and well-inclined young 
men think themselves equally happy to be guided 
into the paths of knowledge and virtue by the in- 
structions of experienced elders. I love to see the 
fire of youth somewhat tempered by the sobriety 
of age, and it is also pleasant to see the gravity of 
age enlivened by the vivacity of youth. Whoever 
combines these two qualities in his character will 
never exhibit traces of senility in his mind, though 
his body may bear the marks of years. - 

As for the natural and necessary inconveniences 
attendant upon length of years, we ought to coun- 
teract their progress by constant and resolute 
opposition. The infirmities of age should be re- 
sisted like the approaches of disease. To this end 
we should use regular and moderate exercise, and 
merely eat and drink as much as is necessary to 



ESSAY ON OLD AGE. 91 

repair our strength, without oppressing the organs 
of digestion. And the intellectual faculties, as 
well as the physical, should be carefully assisted. 
Mind and body thrive equally by suitable exercise 
of their powers ; with this difference, however, 
that bodilv exertion ends in fatigue, whereas the 
mind is never wearied by its activity. 

Another charge against old age is that it de- 
prives us of sensual gratifications. Happy effect, 
indeed, to be delivered from those snares which 
allure youth into some of the worst vices ! " Rea- 
son, " said Archytas, " is the noblest gift which 
God or Nature has bestowed on men. Now 
nothing is so great an enemy to that divine en- 
dowment as the pleasures of sense ; for neither 
temperance, nor any of the more exalted virtues, 
can find a place in that breast which is under the 
dominion of voluptuous passions. Imagine to 
yourself a man in the actual enjoyment of the 
highest gratifications mere animal nature is capable 
of receiving ; there can be no doubt that during 
his continuance in that state it would be utterly 
impossible for him to exert any one power of his 
rational faculties." The inference I draw from 
this is, that if the principles of reason and virtue 
have not proved sufficient to inspire us with 
proper contempt for mere sensual pleasures, we 
have cause to feel grateful to old age for at least 
weaning us from appetites it would ill become us 
to gratify ; for voluptuous passions are utter en- 



92 ESSAY ON OLD AGE. 

emies to all the nobler faculties of the soul ; they 
hold no communion with the manly virtues ; and 
they cast a mist before the eye of reason. The 
little relish which old age leaves us for enjoy- 
ments merely sensual, instead of being a disparage- 
ment to that period of life, considerably enhances 
its value. If age renders us incapable of taking 
an equal share in the flowing cups and luxurious 
dishes of wealthy tables, it thereby secures us 
from painful indigestion, restless nights, and dis- 
ordered reason. 

But though his years will guard an old man 
from excess, they by no means exclude him from 
enjoying convivial gratifications in a moderate 
degree. I always took singular satisfaction in the 
anniversaries of those little societies called Con- 
fraternities. But the gratification I received from 
their entertainments arose much less from the 
pleasures of the palate than from the opportuni- 
ties they afforded for enjoying the company and 
conversation of friends. I derive so much pleas- 
ure from hours devoted to cheerful discourse, that 
I love to prolong my meals, not only when the 
company is composed of men of my own years, 
few of whom indeed are now remaining, but also 
when it chiefly consists of young persons. And I 
acknowledge my obligations to old age for having 
increased my passion for the pleasures of conver- 
sation, while it has abated it for those which 
depend solely on the palate ; though I do not find 



ESSAY ON OLD AGE. 93 

myself disqualified for that species of gratification, 
also. 

The advantages of age are inestimable, if we 
consider it as delivering us from the tyranny of 
lust and ambition, from angry and contentious 
passions, from inordinate and irrational desires ; in 
a word, as teaching us to retire within ourselves, 
and look for happiness in our own souls. If to 
these moral benefits, which naturally result from 
length of days, be added the sweet food of the 
mind, gathered in the fields of science, I know of 
no season of life that is passed more agreeably than 
the learned leisure of a virtuous old age. Can 
the luxuries of the table, or the amusements of 
the theatre, supply their votaries with enjoyments 
worthy to be compared with the calm delights of 
intellectual employments ? And, in minds rightly 
formed and properly cultivated, these exalted de- 
lights never fail to improve and gather strength 
with years. 

From the pleasures which attend a studious old 
age, let us turn to those derived from rural occupa- 
tions, of which I am a warm admirer. Pleasures 
of this class are perfectly consistent with every 
degree of advanced years, as they approach more 
nearly than any others to those of a purely philo- 
sophical kind. They are derived from observing 
the nature and properties of our earth, which yields 
ready obedience to the cultivator's industry, and 
returns, with interest, whatever he places in her 



94 ESSAY ON OLD AGE. 

charge. But the profit arising from this fertility is 
by no means the most desirable circumstance of the 
farmer's labors. I am principally delighted with 
observing the powers of Nature, and tracing her 
processes in vegetable productions. How wonder- 
ful it is that eafh species is endowed with power to 
continue itself; and that minute seeds should de- 
velop so amazingly into large trunks and branches ! 
The orchard, the vegetable garden, and the, par- 
terre diversify the pleasures of farming ; not to 
mention the feedino; of cattle and the rearing of 
bees. Among my friends and neighbors in the 
country are several men far advanced in life, who 
employ themselves with so much activity and in- 
dustry in agricultural business, that nothing impor- 
tant is carried on without their supervision. And 
these rural veterans do not confine their energies 
to those sorts of crops which are sown and reaped 
in one year. They occupy themselves in branches 
of husbandry from which they know they cannot 
live to derive any advantage. If asked why they 
thus expend their labor, they might well reply : 
" We do it in obedience to the immortal gods. By 
their bountiful providence we received these fields 
from our ancestors, and it is their will that we 
should transmit them to posterity with improve- 
ments." In my opinion there is no happier occu- 
pation than agriculture ; not only on account of its 
great utility to mankind, but also as the source 
of peculiar pleasures. I might expatiate on the 



ESSAY ON OLD AGE. 95 

beauties of verdant groves and meadows, on the 
charming landscape of olive-trees and vineyards ; 
but to sav all in one word, there cannot be a 
more pleasing, or a more profitable scene than that 
of a well-cultivated farm. And where else can 
a man in the last stages of life more easily find 
warm sunshine, or a good fire in winter, or the 
pleasure of cooling shades and refreshing streams 
in summer ? 

It is often argued that old age must necessarily 
be a state of much anxiety and disquietude, on 
account of the near approach of death. That the 
hour of dissolution cannot be far distant from an 
aged man is undoubtedly true. But every event 
that is agreeable to the course of nature ought to 
be regarded as a real good; and surely nothing 
can be more natural than for the old to die. It is 
true that youth also is exposed to dissolution ; but 
it is a dissolution obviously contrary to Nature's 
intentions, and in opposition to her strongest 
efforts. Fruit, before it is ripe, cannot be sepa- 
rated from the stalk without some degree of force ; 
but when it is perfectly mature, it drops of itself: 
so the disunion of the soul and body is effected in 
the young by violence, but in the old it takes place 
by mere fulness and completion of years. This 
ripeness for death I perceive in myself with much 
satisfaction ; and I look forward to my dissolution 
as to a secure haven, where I shall at length find 
a happy repose from the fatigues of a long voyage. 



96 ESSAY ON OLD AGE. 

With regard to the consequences of our final 
dissolution, I will venture to say that the nearer 
death approaches the more clearly do I seem to 
discern its real nature. When I consider the 
faculties with which the human mind is endowed, 1 
its amazing celerity, its wonderful power in recol- 
lecting past events, and its sagacity in discerning 
the future, together with its numberless discover- 
ies in arts and sciences, I feel a conscious convic- 
tion that this active, comprehensive principle can- 
not possibly be of a mortal nature. And as this 
unceasing activity of the soul derives its energy 
from its own intrinsic and essential powers, with- 
out receiving it from any foreign or external im- 
pulse, it necessarily follows that its activity must 
continue forever. I am induced to embrace this 
opinion, not only as agreeable to the best deduc- 
tions of reason, but also in deference to the 
authority of the noblest and most distinguished 
philosophers. 

I am well convinced that my dear departed 
friends are so far from having ceased to live, that 
the state they now enjoy can alone with propriety 
be called life. I feel myself transported with im- 
patience to rejoin those whose characters I have 
greatly respected and whose persons I have loved. 
Nor is this earnest desire confined alone to those 
excellent persons with whom I have been connect- 
ed. I ardently wish also to visit those celebrated 
worthies of whom I have heard or read much. To 



ESSAY ON OLD AGE. 97 

this glorious assembly I am speedily advancing ; 
and I would not be turned back on my journey, 
even on the assured condition that my youth 
should be again restored. The sincere truth is, 
if some divinity would confer on me a new grant 
of life, I would reject the offer without the least 
hesitation. I have wellnigh finished the race, 
and have no disposition to return to the starting- 
point. I do not mean to imitate those philoso- 
phers who represent the condition of human 
nature as a subject of just lamentation. The 
satisfactions of this life are many ; but there 
comes a time when we have had a sufficient 
measure of its enjoyments, and may well depart 
contented with our share of the feast. I am far 
from regretting that this life was bestowed on 
me ; and I have the satisfaction of thinking that 
I have employed it in such a manner as not to 
have lived in vain. In short, I consider this 
world as a place which Nature never in- 
tended for my permanent abode ; 
and I look on my departure 
from it, not as being driven 
from my habitation, 
but simply as 
leaving an 
inn. 



THE FOUNTAIN. 



By WILLIAM WORDSWORTH. 



WE talked with open heart, and tongue 
Affectionate and true, 
A pair of friends, though I was young, 
And Matthew seventy-two. 

A village schoolmaster was he, 

With hair of glittering gray ; 
As blithe a man as you could see 

On a spring holiday. 

And on that morning, through the grass 

And by the steaming rills, 
We travelled merrily, to pass 

A day among the hills. 

We lay beneath a spreading oak, 

Beside a mossy seat ; 
And from the turf a fountain broke, 

And gurgled at our feet. 



. THE FOUNTAIN. 99 

" Now, Matthew," said I, " let us match 

This water's pleasant tune 
With some old Border-Song, or Catch, 

That suits a summer's noon. 

" Or of the church-clock and the chimes 

Sing here beneath the shade, 
That half-mad thing of witty rhymes 

Which you last April made." 

In silence Matthew lay, and eyed 

The spring beneath the tree ; 
And thus the dear old man replied, 

The gray-haired man of glee : 

" Down to the vale this water steers ; 

How merrily it goes ! 
'T will murmur on a thousand years, 

And flow as now it flows. 

" And here, on this delightful day, 

I cannot choose but think 
How oft, a vigorous man, I lay 

Beside this fountain's brink. 

" My eyes are dim with childish tears, 

My heart is idly stirred, 
For the same sound is in my ears 

Which in those days I heard. 

" Thus fares it still in our decay ; 

And yet the wiser mind 
Mourns less for what age takes awav, 

Than what it leaves behind. 



100 THE FOUNTAIN. 

" The blackbird in the summer trees, 

The lark upon the hill, 
Let loose their carols when they please, 

Are quiet when they will. 

" With Nature never do they wage 

A foolish strife ; they see 
A happy youth, and their old age 

Is beautiful and free. 

" But we are pressed by heavy laws ; 

And often, glad no more, 
"We wear a face of joy, because 

We have been glad of yore. 

" If there is one who need bemoan 

His kindred laid in earth, 
The household hearts that were his own, 

It is the man of mirth. 

" My days, my friend, are almost gone ; 

My life has been approved, 
And many love me ; but by none 

Am I enough beloved." 

" Now both himself and me he wrongs, 
The man who thus complains ! 

I live and sing my idle songs 
Upon these happy plains ; 

" And, Matthew, for thy children dead, 

I '11 be a son to thee ! " 
At this, he grasped my hand, and said, 

" Alas ! that cannot be ! " 



THE FOUNTAIN. 101 

We rose up from the fountain-side ; 

And down the smooth descent 
Of the green sheep-track did we glide, 

And through the wood we went. 

And ere we came to Leonard's Rock, 

He sang those witty rhymes 
About the crazy old church-clock, 

And the bewildered chimes. 



A POET'S BLESSING. 

FROM THE GERMAN OF UHLAND. 

As'I wandered the fields along, 
Listening to the lark's sweet song, 
I saw an old man working there, 
A laborer with hoary hair. 

" Blessings upon this field ! " I said ; 
" Fruitful by faithful labor made. 
And blessings on thy wrinkled hand, 
Thus scattering seed along the land ! n 

He answered me, with earnest face, 
"A poet's blessing 's out of place ; 
Likely enough that Heaven, in scorn, 
Will send us flowers instead of corn." 

" Nay, friend," said I, " my tuneful powers 
Wake not to life too many flowers ; 
Only enough to grace the land, 
And fill thy little grandson's hand." 



BERNARD PALISSY.* 



! Call him not old, whose visionary brain 
Holds o'er the past its undivided reign. 
For him in vain the envious seasons roll, 
Who bears eternal summer in his soul. 
If yet the minstrel's song, the poet's lay, 
Spring with her birds, or children with their play, 
Or maidon's smile, or heavenly dream of Art, 
Stir the few life-drops creeping round his heart, — 
Turn to the record where his years are told, — 
Count his gray hairs, — they cannot make him old ! " 

ERNARD PALISSY was born in one 
of the southwestern districts of France, 
in 1509 ; more than three hundred and 
fifty years ago, and more than a cen- 
tury before our forefathers landed on Plymouth 
Rock. The art of making colored glass, and of 
painting on glass, had been for centuries in great 
requisition, for the windows of castles and cathe- 
drals. It was considered an occupation so honor- 
able, that poor nobles sometimes resorted to it witli- 




* These facts are gleaned from Morley's Life of Palissy the 
Potter. 



BERNARD PALISSY. 103 

out losing caste ; though the prejudices concerning 
rank were at that time very strong. The manu- 
facture was generally carried on in the depths of 
forests, partly for the convenience of gathering fuel 
for the furnaces, and partly to avoid the danger 
of fire in towns. Around these manufactories the 
workmen erected their cabins, and night and day 
the red flames of the furnaces lighted up trees and 
shrubbery with a lurid glow. It is supposed that 
Bernard was born and reared in one of these ham- 
lets, secluded from the world. The immense for- 
ests furnished a vast amount of chestnuts, which 
constituted the principal food of the peasantry. 
Constant labor in the open air, combined with this 
extreme simplicity of diet, formed healthy, vigor- 
ous men, free-hearted, simple, and brave. Whether 
Bernard's father, who is supposed to have been a 
modeller of glass, was a decayed gentleman, or 
simply a peasant, is not known. Bernard, by some 
means, learned to read and write, which was not 
an ordinary accomplishment at that period. He 
also had a great talent for drawing, which he 
improved, either by practice or instruction. In 
other respects his education was simply that of the 
peasantry around him. In his owii account of 
his early days he says, " I had no other books than 
heaven and earth, which are open to all." These 
volumes, however, he studied with lively interest 
and the closest observation. He took notice of 
the growth of plants and the habits of animals. 



104 BERNARD PALISSY. 

He soon began to paint on paper the likenesses of 
birds, lizards, and trees. As his skill increased, he 
made portraits of his mother and the neighbors, 
and landscapes containing the houses they lived 
in. The preparation of colors for glass early 
awakened an interest in chemical combinations ; 
but there were then no books on the subject, and 
he could only increase his stock of knowledge by 
repeated experiments. His skill in drawing en- 
abled him to produce a variety of new patterns 
for glass-work, and this, combined with his knowl- 
edge of colors, rendered his services, much more 
important than those of a common workman. But 
the once profitable business was now in its decline. 
People began to find out that the exclusion of 
sunshine was unwholesome, and that the obstruc- 
tion of light rendered their dwellings gloomy. 
Moreover, windows in those days, being opened 
on hinges, were much more exposed to be shat- 
tered by storms. To repair stained or painted glass 
was an expensive process ; and in order to avoid 
the frequent necessity of it, people fastened their 
windows into the wall, so that they could not be 
opened. This excluded air, as well as light and 
sun-warmth ; and gradually colored windows fell 
into disuse. 

Bernard's father was poor, and the profits of his 
business were too scanty to yield a comfortable 
support for his family. Therefore, the young 
man, when he was eighteen years old, strapped 



BERNARD PALISSY. 105 

a scantily filled wallet upon his shoulders, and 
marched forth into the world to seek his fortune. 
Francis I. and Charles V. were then devastating 
half Europe by their wars, and the highways 
were filled with military adventurers and crip- 
pled soldiers. From these the young traveller 
obtained his first glimpses of the violence and in- 
trigues going on in the world beyond his native 
forests. 

He was also overtaken by a travelling cloth-mer- 
chant, who told him of many new things. In 
order to dignify his own calling, he enumerated 
many great men who had been employed in trade. 
Among others, he mentioned a renowned Athe- 
nian, called " the divine Plato," by reason of the 
excellence of his wisdom, who had sold olive-oil in 
Egypt, to defray the expenses of travelling there. 
" I never heard of Plato," said Bernard. " O, 
you are a wild bird from the forest," replied 
the trader ; " you can only pipe as you have been 
taught by nature. But I advise you to make 
acquaintance with books. Our King Francis is 
now doing so much to encourage the arts and 
sciences, that every artisan can become wise, if 
he makes good use of his leisure. Our shops may 
now be our schools." " Then I should wish the 
whole world to be my shop," rejoined Bernard. 
" I feel that earth and air are full of mysteries and 
wonders ; full of the sublime wisdom of God." 

So he wandered on, reading, as he had done 

5* 



106 BERNARD PALISSY. 

from childhood, in " the book of earth and heaven, 
which is open to all." 

" For Nature, the old nurse, took 
The child upon her knee, 
Saying, * Here is a story-book 
Thy Father has written for thee/ 

" ' Come, wander with me/ she said, 
' Into regions yet untrod ; 
And read what is still unread 
In the manuscripts of God/ 

" And he wandered away and away, 
With Nature, the dear old nurse, 
Who sang to him night and day 
The rhymes of the universe." 

If lizards were basking in the sunshine, he stopped 
to admire their gliding motions, and prismatic 
changes of color. If he found a half-covered snail 
among the wet mosses, he lingered till he ascer- 
tained that it was gradually making a new shell 
from its own saliva. If a stone was curious in 
form or shape, he picked it up and put it in 
his wallet ; and oftentimes he would crack them, 
to discover their interior structure. Every new 
flower and seed attracted his attention, and excited 
wonder at the marvellous varieties of Nature. 
These things are hinted at all through his writings. 
He says : "In walking under the fruit-trees, I 
received a great contentment and many joyous 
pleasures ; for I saw the squirrels gathering the 
fruits, and leaping from branch to branch, with 



BERNARD PALISSY. 107 

many pretty looks and gestures. I saw nuts gath- 
ered by the rooks, who rejoiced in taking their 
repast, dining on the said nuts. Under the apple- 
trees, I found hedgehogs, that rolled themselves 
into a round form, and, thrusting out their sharp 
quills, they rolled over the apples, which stuck on 
the points, and so they went burdened. These 
things have made me such a lover of the fields, 
that it seems to me there are no treasures in the 
world so precious as the little branches of trees and 
plants. I hold them in more esteem than mines 
of gold and silver." This loving communion with 
Nature was not mere idle dreaming. Always he 
was drawing inferences from what he saw, and 
curiously inquiring into the causes of things. 

He supported himself by painting glass, and 
sketching portraits. He says, in his modest way, 
" They thought me a better painter than I was." 
If he arrived in a town where a cathedral- or an 
abbey was being built, he sometimes tarried long to 
make a variety of rich patterns for the windows. 
In other places, he would find only a few repairs 
required in the windows of castles or churches, and 
so would quickly pass on. To arrange mosaic pat- 
terns of different-colored glass required constant 
use of rule and compass, and this suggested the 
study of geometry, which he pursued with charac- 
| teristic eagerness. The knowledge thus acquired 
made him a skilful surveyor, and he was much 
employed in mapping out boundaries, and making 



108 BERNARD PALISSY. 

plans for houses and gardens, a business which he 
found more profitable than glass-work or portraits. 
These various occupations brought him occasion- 
ally into contact with men who were learned in 
the arts and sciences, according to the standard of 
learning at that time, and his active mind never 
failed to glean something from such interviews. A 
French translation of the Scriptures had been pub- 
lished in 1498. He seems to have had a copy 
with him during his travels, and to have studied 
it with reverential attention. Thus constantly 
observing and acquiring, the young man trav- 
ersed France, from Spain to the Netherlands, and 
roamed through a portion of Germany. Ten years 
were spent in this way, during which he obtained 
the best portion of that education which he after- 
ward turned to good account. 

He is supposed to have been about twenty-nine 
years old, when he married, and settled in the town 
of Saintes, in the western part of France. He 
supported his family by glass-work, portraits, and 
surveying. A few years after his marriage, some 
one showed him an enamelled cup, brought from 
Italy. It seemed a slight incident ; but it woke 
the artistic spirit slumbering in his soul, and was 
destined to effect a complete revolution in his life. 
He says : " It was an earthen cup, turned and 
enamelled with so much beauty, that from that 
time I entered into controversy with my own 
thoughts. I began to think that if I should dis- 



BERNARD PALISSY. 109 

cover how to make enamels, I could make earthen 
vessels very prettily ; because God had gifted me 
with some knowledge of drawing. So, regardless 
of the fact that I had no knowledge of clays, I 
began to seek for the enamel, as a man gropes in 
the dark." 

In order to begin to comprehend the difficulties 
he had to encounter, we must know that only the 
rudest kind of common pottery had then been 
made in France, and even with the manufacture 
of that he was entirely unacquainted. If he had 
been unmarried, he might have travelled among 
the potters of Europe, as he had among the glass- 
makers, and have obtained useful hints from them ; 
but his family increased fast, and needed his pro- 
tection and support. Tea was not introduced into 
Europe till a hundred years later ; and there were 
no specimens of porcelain from China, except here 
and there a costly article imported by the rich. 
He was obliged to test the qualities of various 
kinds of clays ; what chemical agents would pro- 
duce enamel ; what other agents would produce 
colors ; and the action of heat on all of them. He 
bought quantities of earthen jars, broke them into 
fragments, applied to each piece some particular 
chemical substance, and tried them all in a furnace. 
He says : "I pounded all the substances I could 
suppose likely to make anything. Having blun- 
dered several times, at great expense, and through 
much labor, I was every day pounding and grind- 



110 BERNARD PALISSY. 

ing new materials, and constructing new furnaces, 
which cost much money and consumed, my wood 
and my time." While these expenses were going 
on, his former occupations were necessarily sus- 
pended ; thus " the candle was burning out at 
both ends." His wife began to complain. Still 
he went on, trying new compounds, as he says, 
" always with great cost, loss of time, confusion 
and sorrow." The privations of his family and 
the anxiety of his wife gave him so much pain, 
that he relinquished his experiments for a while. 
He says : u Seeing I could not in this way come 
at my intention, I occupied myself in my art of 
painting and glass-working, and comported myself 
as if I were not zealous to dive any more into the 
secret of enamels." The king ordered extensive 
surveys, and he found that employment so profita- 
ble, that his family were soon at ease again. But 
that Italian cup was always in his mind. He says : 
" When I found myself with a little money, I re- 
sumed my affection for pursuing in the track of the 
enamels." For two years he kept up a series of 
experiments, under all manner of difficulties, and 
always without success. His wife scolded, and 
even his own courage began to fail. At last he 
applied more than three hundred kinds of mixtures 
to more than three hundred fragments, and put 
them all in the furnace ; resolved that if this ex- 
periment proved a failure, he would try no more. 
He tells us : " One of the pieces came out white 



BERNARD PALISSY. HI 

and polished, in a way that caused me such joy, as 
made me think I was become a new creature." 
He was then thirty-seven years old. 

He was merely at the beginning of what he 
aimed to accomplish. He had discovered how to 
make the enamel, but he still knew nothing of 
pottery, or of the effect which various degrees of 
heat would produce on colors. A new furnace 
was necessary, and he proceeded to build it, with 
prodigious labor. Being too poor to hire help, he 
brought bricks on his own back from a distant 
kiln ; he made his own mortar, and drew the wa- 
ter with which it was tempered. He fashioned 
vessels of clay, to which his enamel could be ap- 
plied. For more than a month he kept up an 
incessant fire night and day, and was continually 
grinding materials in a hand-mill, which it usually 
required two men to turn. He believed himself 
to be very near complete success, and everything 
''depended upon not letting the heat of the furnaces 
go down. In the desperation of his poverty and 
the excitement of his sanguine hopes, he burned 
the garden-fence, and even some of the tables, 
doors, and floors of his house. His wife became 
frantic, and gave him no peace. She was to be 
pitied, poor woman ! Not being acquainted with 
chemical experiments, she did not know, as he did, 
that he was really on the point of making a great 
and lucrative discovery. She had heard it so long 
that she did n't believe it. They had a large fam- 



112 BERNARD PALISSY. 

ily of children, and while their father was trying 
expensive experiments, several of them were dying 
of a disease prevalent at that time. It was a 
gloomy and trying period for all of them. He 
says : " I suffered an anguish that I cannot speak. 
I was quite exhausted and dried up by the heat of 
the furnace. It was more than a month since my 
shirt had been dry upon me. I was the object of 
mockery. Even those from whom solace was due 
ran crying through the town that I was burning 
my floors. In this way I came to be regarded as 
a madman. I was in debt in several places. I 
had two children at nurse, and was unable to pay 
the nurses. Men jested at me as I passed through 
the streets, and said it was right for me to die of 
hunger, since I had left following my trade. Some 
hope still remained to sustain me, for my last 
experiments had turned out tolerably well, and 
I thought I knew enough to get my living ; but I 
found I was far enough from that yet. 

The want of means to build sheds to cover his 
clay vessels was another great difficulty. After 
working all day, and late into the night, sometimes 
a heavy rain would spoil all his work, just as he 
had it ready to bake. He describes himself, on 
such occasions, as utterly weak and exhausted, so 
that walking home he " reeled like a man drunk 
with wine." He says : " Filled with a great sor- 
row, inasmuch as having labored long I saw my 
labor wasted, I would retire soiled and drenched, 



BERNARD PALISSY. 113 

to find in my chamber a second persecution worse 
than the first ; which now causes me to marvel 
that I was not consumed by suffering." 

In the midst of all this tribulation, the strug- 
gling artist had one source of consolation. Jean 
Cauvin, better known to us as John Calvin, had 
been preaching Protestant doctrines in France, and 
had given rise to the sect called Huguenots. The 
extravagance and licentiousness of society at that 
period, and the abuses practised by a powerful and 
wealthy priesthood, naturally inclined this pure 
and simple-minded man to the doctrines of the 
Reformers. He became acquainted with an artisan 
of the same turn of mind, whom he describes as 
" simple, unlearned, and marvellously poor." His 
delight was to hear Palissy read the Scriptures. 
Gradually his listeners increased to ten, and they 
formed a little society, which took turns in exhor- 
tation and prayer. One of them is supposed to 
have been an innkeeper, who, from religious sym- 
pathy, allowed poor Palissy to take meals at his 
house on credit. 

He still continued his experiments, and met 
with successive disappointments of one kind or 
another. At last, he thought he had learned 
how to adjust everything just right; and confi- 
dent of success, he one day put into the oven a 
batch of vessels, beautifully formed and painted. 
But a new misfortune awaited him. The mate- 
rials of his furnace contained flints. These ex- 



114 BERNARD PALISSY. 

paneled and burst with the great heat, and struck 
into the vessels while they were soft, injuring the 
enamel, and covering the surface with irregular 
sharp points. This blow almost prostrated him; 
for he had expected this beautiful batch would 
bring a considerable sum of money for the support 
of his family, and put to silence those that jeered 
at him. But he was a man of wonderful endur- 
ance. He says : " Having remained some time 
upon the bed, I reflected that if a man should fall 
into a pit, it would be his duty to try to get out 
again." So the brave soul roused himself, and set 
to work diligently to earn money, by his old trades 
of painting and surveying. 

Having supplied the necessities of his family, he 
again returned to his pottery; fully believing that 
his losses and hazards were over, and that he could 
now make articles that would bring good prices. 
But new disappointments awaited him. The green 
with which he painted his lizards burnt before the 
brown of the serpents melted ; a strong current of 
air in the furnace blew ashes all over his beautiful 
vessels and spoiled the enamel. He says : " Be- 
fore I could render my different enamels fusible 
at the same decree of heat, I thought I should be 
at the door of my sepulchre. I was so wasted in 
my person that there was no form nor prominence 
in the muscles of my arms or legs ; also the said 
legs were throughout of one size ; so that when I 
walked, garters and stockings were at once down 



BERNARD PALISSY. 115 

upon my heels. I often roamed about the fields, 
considering my miseries and weariness, and above 
all things, that in my own house I could have no 
peace, nor do anything that was considered good. 
I was despised and mocked by all. Nevertheless, 
I had a hope, which caused me to work so like a 
man, that I often did my best to laugh and amuse 
people who came to see me, though within me all 
was very sad." 

At the end of ten years from the commence- 
ment of his experiments, he succeeded in making 
a kind of ware, of mixed enamels, resembling jas- 
per. It was not what he had been aiming to 
accomplish, but it was considered pretty, and sold 
well enough to support his family comfortably. 
While he was making continual improvements in 
his pottery, the Huguenots w T ere increasing to a- 
degree that provoked persecution. A schoolmas- 
ter in a neighboring town, who " preached on 
Sundays, and was much beloved by the people," 
w T as brought to Saintes and publicly burnt. But 
Palissv and his little band were not intimidat- 
ed. They continued to meet for exhortation and 
prayer. At first it was done mostly at midnight ; 
but the pure and pious lives of these men and 
women formed such a contrast to the licentious- 
ness and blasphemy prevailing round them, that 
they gradually gained respect ; insomuch that they 
influenced the magistrates of the town to pass 
laws restraining gambling and dissipation. So 



116 BERNARD PALISSY. 

great a change was produced, that, when Palissy 
was fifty-one years old, he says : " On Sundays 
you might see tradesmen rambling through the 
fields, groves, and other places, in bands, singing 
psalms, canticles, and spiritual songs, or reading 
and instructing each other. You might see young 
women seated in gardens and other places, who 
in like way delighted themselves with singing all 
holy things. The very children were so well in- 
structed that they had no longer a puerility of 
manner, but a look of manly fortitude. These 
things had so well prospered that people had 
changed their old manners, even to their very 
countenances." 

After six years more of successive improve- 
ments, making sixteen years in the whole, this 
persevering man at last accomplished the object 
for which he had toiled and suffered so much. 
He produced a very beautiful kind of china, which 
became celebrated under the name of Palissy 
Ware. These articles were elaborately adorned 
with vines, flowers, butterflies, lizards, serpents, 
and other animals. He had always been such a 
loving observer of nature that we cannot wonder 
at being told " he copied these, in form and color, 
with the minute exactness of a naturalist, so that 
the species of each could be determined accu- 
rately." These beautiful articles sold at high 
prices. Orders flowed in from kings and nobles. 
The Constable Montmorenci, a nobleman of im- 



BERNARD PALISSY. 117 

mense wealth, employed Palissy to decorate Ills 
magnificent Chateau d'Ecouen, about twelve miles 
from Paris. There he made richly painted win- 
dows, covered with Scripture scenes, some of his 
own designing, others copied from Raphael and 
Albert Durer. Vases and statuettes of his beau- 
tiful china were deposited in various places ; and 
the floors of chapel and galleries were inlaid with 
china tiles of his painting. Among the groves he 
formed a very curious grotto of china. He mod- 
elled rugged rocks, " sloping, tortuous, and lumpy," 
which he painted with imitations of such herbs 
and mosses as grow in moist places. Brilliant liz- 
ards appeared to glide over its surface, " in many 
pleasant gestures and agreeable contortions." In 
the trenches of water were some living frogs and 
fishes, and other china ones, which so closely 
resembled them as not to be easily distinguished. 
At the foot of the rocks, branches of coral, of his 
manufacture, appeared to grow in the water. A 
poet of that period, praising this work, says: 
" The real lizard on the moss has not more lustre 
than the lizards in that house made famous by 
your new work. The plants look not sweeter in 
the fields, and green meadows are not more pre- 
ciously enamelled, than those which grow under 
your hand." The Constable Montmorenci built a 
convenient shop for him, where he w T orked with 
two of his sons. A large china dog at the door 
was so natural, that the dogs often barked at it 
and challenged it to fight. 



118 BERNARD PALISSY. 

Meanwhile, a terrible storm was gathering over 
the heads of the Huguenots. Civil war broke out 
between the Catholics and Protestants. Old men 
were burnt for quoting Scripture, and young girls 
stabbed for singing psalms. But worldly prosper- 
ity and the flattery of the great could not tempt 
Palissy to renounce or conceal his faith. He pur- 
sued his artistic labors, though he says, " For two 
months I was greatly terrified, hearing nothing 
every day but reports of horrible murders." He 
would have fallen among the first victims, had it 
not been for written protections from powerful 
nobles, who wanted ornamental work done which 
no other man could do. The horrible massacre 
of St. Bartholomew occurred when he was sixty- 
three years old, but he escaped by aid of his 
powerful patrons. The officers appointed to hunt 
out Huguenots longed to arrest him, but did not 
dare to do it in the daytime. At last they came 
tramping about his house at midnight, and carried 
him off to a prison in Bordeaux. The judges 
would gladly have put him to death, but their 
proceedings were stopped by orders from the 
Queen Mother, Catherine de Medicis. Montmo- 
renci, Montpensier, and other influential Catholic 
nobles, who had works uncompleted, and who 
doubtless felt kindlv toward the old artist, inter- 
ceded with her, and she protected him ; not be- 
cause he was a good man, but because the art he 
practised was unique and valuable. The enam- 



BERNARD PALISSY. 119 

elled Italian cup, which had troubled so many 
years of his life, proved the cause of its being 
saved. 

The last ten years of Palissy's mortal existence 
were spent in Paris. He had an establishment in 
the grounds of the Tuileries, where he manufac- 
tured vases, cups, plates, and curious garden-basins 
and baskets, ornamented with figures in relief. 
His high reputation drew toward him many men 
of taste and learning, who, knowing his interest in 
all the productions of Nature, presented him with 
many curious specimens of shells, minerals, fos- 
sils, &c. He formed these into a Museum, where 
scholars met to discuss the laws and operations of 
Nature. This is said to have been the first society 
established in Paris for the pure advancement of 
science. When he was sixty-six years old, he be- 
gan a course of public lectures, which he continued 
to deliver annually for ten years. These were the 
first lectures on Natural History ever delivered in 
Paris. The best men of the Capital went there to 
discuss with him, and to hear him state, in his sim- 
ple, earnest fashion, the variety of curious things 
he had observed in travels by mountain and sea- 
shore, through field and forest, and in his exper- 
iments on glass and china. Some pedants were 
disposed to undervalue his teachings, because he 
had never learned Greek or Latin. Undisturbed 
by this, he cordially invited them to come and dis- 
prove his statements if they could, saying : "I want 



120 BERNARD PALISSY. 

to ascertain whether the Latins know more upon 
these subjects than I do. I am indeed a simple 
artisan, poorly enough trained in letters ; but the 
things themselves have not less value than if they 
were uttered by a man more eloquent. I had 
rather speak truth in my rustic tongue, than lie in 
rhetoric." 

He published several books on Agriculture, 
Volcanoes, the Formation of Rocks, the Laws of 
Water, &c. His last book was written when he 
was seventy-one years old. Scientific knowledge 
was then in its infancy, but adequate judges con- 
sider his ideas far in advance of his time. A mod- 
ern French scholar calls him, " So great a natu- 
ralist as only Nature could produce." There is a 
refreshing simplicity about his style of writing, and 
his communications with the world were obviously 
not the result of vanity, but of general benevo- 
lence and religious reverence. He felt that all he 
had was from God, and that it was a duty to im- 
part it freely. He says : " I had employed much 
time in the study of earths, stones, waters, and 
metals ; and old age pressed me to multiply the 
talents God had given me. For that reason, I 
thought it would be good to bring to the light 
those excellent secrets, in order to bequeath them 
to posterity." 

He continued vigorous in mind and body, and 
was remarked for acuteness and ready wit. He 
abstained from theological discussions in his teach- 



BERNARD PALLSSY. 121 

ings, but made no secret of the fact that his opin- 
ions remained unchanged. Amid the frivolity, 
dissipation, and horrid scenes of violence that were 
going on in Paris, he quietly busied himself mak- 
ing artistic designs, and imparting his knowledge 
of natural history ; recreating himself frequently 
with the old pleasure of rambling in field and 
forest, taking loving observation of all God's little 
creatures. 

He was seventy-six years old, when the king, 
Henry III., issued a decree forbidding Protes- 
tants to exercise their worship, on pain of death, 
and banishing all who had previously practised it. 
Angry bigots clamored for the death of the brave 
old potter. The powerful patrons of his art 
again prevented his execution ; but the tide was 
so strong against the Reformers, that he was sent 
to the Bastile. Two Huguenot girls were in prison 
with him, and they mutually sustained each other 
with prayer and psalms. The king, in his fashion- 
able frills and curls, occasionally visited the prisons, 
and he naturally felt a great desire that the dis- 
tinguished old Bernard Palissy should make a 
recantation of his faith. One day he said to him : 
" My good man, you have been forty-five years in 
the service of the queen, my mother, or in mine ; 
and in the midst of all the executions and mas- 
sacres, we have allowed you to live in your religion. 
But now I am so hardly pressed by the Guise party, 
and by my people, that I am compelled, in spite of 

6 



122 BERNARD PALISSY. 

myself, to order the execution of these two poor 
young women, and of yourself also, unless you 
recant." " Sire," replied the old man, " that is 
not spoken like a king. You have often said you 
pitied me ; but now I pity you ; because you have 
said, ' I am compelled.'' These girls and I, who 
have our part in the kingdom of Heaven, will teach 
you to talk more royally. Neither the Guises, nor 
all your people, nor yourself, can compel the old 
potter to bow down to your images of clay. I 
can die." 

The two girls were burnt a few months after- 
ward. Palissy remained in prison four years, and 
there he died at eighty years of age. The secrets 
of the Bastile were well kept, and we have no 
record of those years. We only know that, like 
John Bunyan, he wrote a good deal in prison. 
The thick, dark walls must have been dismal to 
one who so loved the free air, and who val- 
ued trees and shrubs " bevond silver 
and gold." But the martyr was 
not alone. He had with him 
the God whom he trusted, 
and the memories of 
an honest, useful, 
and religious 
life. 

? 



OLD AGE COMING. 



By Elizabeth Hamilton, a Scotch writer, author of " The 
Cottagers of Glenburnie," and several other sensible and inter- 
esting works. She died, unmarried, about fifty years ago, nearly 
sixty years old. These lines were written in such very broad 
Scotch, that I have taken the liberty to render them in English, 
making no changes, except a few slight variations, which the 
necessities of rhyme required. 



IS that Old Age, who 's knocking at the gate ? 
I trow it is. He sha'n't be asked to wait. 
You 're kindly welcome, friend ! Nay, do not fear 
To show yourself ! You '11 cause no trouble here. 
I know there 're some who tremble at your name, 
As though you brought with you reproach or shame ; 
And who of thousand lies would bear the sin, 
Rather than own you for their kith and kin. 
But far from shirking you as a disgrace, 
Thankful I am to live to see your face. 
Nor will I e'er disown you, or take pride 
To think how long I might your visit hide. 
1 11 do my best to make you well respected, 
And fear not for your sake to be neglected. 



124 OLD AGE COMING. 

Now you have come, and, through all kinds of weather, 

We 're doomed from this time forth to jog together, 

I 'd fain make compact with you, firm and strong ? 

On terms of give and take, to hold out long. 

If you '11 be civil, I will liberal be ; 

Witness the list of what I '11 give to thee. 

First then, I here make o'er, for good and aye, 

All youthful fancies, whether bright or gay. 

Beauties and graces, too, might be resigned, 

But much I fear they would be hard to find ; 

For 'gainst your daddy Time they could not stand, 

Nor bear the grip of his relentless hand. 

But there 's my skin, which you may further crinkle, 

And write your name, at length, on ev'ry wrinkle. 

On my brown locks your powder you may throw, 

And bleach them to your fancy, white as snow. 

But look not, Age, so wistful at my mouth, 

As if you longed to pull out ev'ry tooth ! 

Let them, I do beseech you, keep their places ! 

Though, if you like, you 're free to paint their faces. 

My limbs I yield you ; and if you see meet 

To clap your icy shackles on my feet, 

I '11 not refuse ; but if you drive out gout, 

Will bless you for 't, and offer thanks devout. 

So much I give to you with free good-will ; 

But, O, I fear that more you look for still. 

I know, by your stern look and meaning leers, 

You want to clap your fingers on my ears. 

Right willing, too, you are, as I surmise, 

To cast your misty powder in my eyes. 

But, O, in mercy spare my little twinklers ! 

And I will always wear your crystal blinkers. 



OLD AGE COMING. 125 

Then 'bout my ears I 'd fain a bargain strike, 

And give my hand upon it, if you like. 

Well then — would you consent their use to share ? 

*T would serve us both, and be a bargain rare. 

I 'd have it thus, — When babbling fools intrude, 

Gabbling their noisy nonsense for no good ; 

Or when ill-nature, well brushed up with wit, 

With sneer sarcastic, takes its aim to hit ; 

Or when detraction, meanest sort of pride, 

Spies out small faults, and seeks great worth to hide ; 

Then make me deaf as ever deaf can be ! 

At all such times, my ears I lend to thee. 

But when, in social hours, you see combined 

Genius and wisdom, fruits of heart and mind, 

Good sense, good nature, wit in playful mood, 

And candor, e'en from ill extracting good ; 

O, then, old friend, I must have back my hearing ! 

To want it then would be an ill past bearing. 

I 'd rather sit alone, in wakeful dreaming, 

Than catch the sound of words without their meaning. 

You will not promise ? O, you 're very glum ! 

Right hard to manage, you 're so cold and dumb ! 

No matter. — Whole and sound I '11 keep my heart 

Not from one crumb on 't will I ever part. 

Its kindly warmth shall ne'er be chilled by all 

The coldest breath that from your lips can fall. 

You need n't vex yourself, old churl, nor fret ! 

My kindly feelings you shall never get. 

And though to take my hearing you rejoice, 

In spite of you, I '11 still hear friendship's voice. 

And though you take the rest, it shall not grieve me ; 

For gleams of cheerful spirits you must leave me. 



126 OLD AGE COMING. 

But let me whisper in your ear, Old Age, 

I 'm bound to travel with you- but one stage. 

Be 't long or short, you cannot keep me back ; 

And when we reach the end on % you must pack ! 

Be 't soon or late, we part forever there ! 

Other companionship I then shall share. 

This blessed change to me you 're bound to bring. 

You need not think I shall be loath to spring 

From your poor feeble side, you churl uncouth ! 

Into the arms of Everlasting Youth. 

All that your thieving hands have stolen away 

He will, with interest, to me repay. 

Fresh gifts and graces freely he '11 bestow, 

More than the heart has wished, or mind can know. 

You need not wonder then, nor swell with pride, 

That I so kindly welcomed you as guide 

To one who 's far your better. Now all 's told. 

Let us set out upon our journey cold. 

With no vain boasts, no vain regrets tormented, 

We '11 quietly jog on our way, contented. 



" On he moves to meet his latter end, 
Angels around befriending virtue's friend ; 
Sinks to the grave with unperceived decay, 
While resignation gently slopes the way ; 
And, all his prospects brightening to the last, 
His heaven commences ere the world is past." 

Goldsmith. 




UNMARRIED WOMEN. 



By L. MARIA CHILD. 




OCIETY moves slowly toward civiliza- 
tion, but when we compare epochs half 
a century, or even a quarter of a cen- 
tury apart, we perceive many signs that 
progress is made. Among these pleasant indica- 
tions is the fact that the phrase " old maid ' ' has 
gone wellnigh out of fashion ; that jests on the 
subject are no longer considered witty, and are 
never uttered by gentlemen. In my youth, I not 
unfrequently heard women of thirty addressed 
something in this style : " What, not married yet ? 
If you don't take care, you will outstand your 
market." Such words could never be otherwise 
than disagreeable, nay, positively offensive, to any 
woman of sensibility and natural refinement; and 
that not merely on account of wounded vanity, or 
disappointed affection, or youthful visions receding 
in the distance, but because the idea of being in 



128 UNMARRIED WOMEN. 

the market, of being a commodity, rather than an 
individual, is odious to every human being. 

I believe a large proportion of unmarried women 
are so simply because they have too much con- 
science and delicacy of feeling to form marriages 
of interest or convenience, without the concur- 
rence of their affections and their taste. A wo- 
man who is determineci to be married, and who 
" plays her cards well," as the phrase is, usually 
succeeds. But how much more estimable and 
honorable is she who regards a life-union as too 
important and sacred to be entered into from mo- 
tives of vanity or selfishness. 

To rear families is the ordination of Nature, 
and where it is done conscientiously it is doubtless 
the best education that men or women can receive. 
But I doubt the truth of the common remark that 
the discharge of these duties makes married peo- 
ple less selfish than unmarried ones. The selfish- 
ness of single women doubtless shows itself in 
more petty forms ; such as being disturbed by 
crumbs on the carpet, and a litter of toys about 
the house. But fathers and mothers are often self- 
ish on a large scale, for the sake of advancing the 
worldly prosperity or social condition of their chil- 
dren. Not only is spiritual growth frequently 
sacrificed in pursuit of these objects, but princi- 
ples are trampled on, which involve the welfare 
of the whole human race. Within the sphere of 
my own observation, I must confess that there 



UNMARRIED WOMEN. 129 

is a larger proportion of unmarried than of mar- 
ried women whose sympathies are active and 
extensive. 

I have before my mind two learned sisters, 
familiar with Greek, Latin, and French, and who, 
late in life, acquired a knowledge of German also. 
They spent more than sixty years together, qui- 
etly digging out gold, silver, or iron from the rich 
mines of ancient and modern literature, and free- 
ly imparting their treasures wherever they were 
called for. No married couple could have been 
more careful of each other in illness, or more 
accommodating toward each other's peculiarities ; 
yet they were decided individuals ; and their talk 

never wanted 

" An animated No, 

To brush its surface, and to make it flow." 

Cultivated people enjoyed their conversation, 
which was both wise and racy ; a steady light of 
good sense and large information, with an occa- 
sional flashing rocket of not ill-natured satire. 
Yet their intellectual acquisitions produced no con- 
tempt for the customary occupations of women. 
All their friends received tasteful keepsakes of 
their knitting, netting, or crocheting, and all the 
poor of the town had garments of their handi- 
work. Neither their sympathies nor their views 
were narrowed by celibacy. Early education had 
taught them to reverence everything that was 

established ; but with this reverence they mingled 

6* i 



130 UNMARRIED WOMEN. 

a lively interest in all the great progressive ques- 
tions of the day. Their ears were open to the 
recital of everybody's troubles and everybody's 
joys. On New Year's day, children thronged 
round them for books and toys, and every poor 
person's face lighted up as they approached ; for 
they were sure of kindly inquiries and sympathiz- 
ing words from them, and their cloaks usually 
opened to distribute comfortable slippers, or warm 
stockings of their own manufacture. When this 
sisterly bond, rendered so beautiful by usefulness 
and culture, was dissolved by death, the survivor 
said of her who had departed : " During all her 
illness she leaned upon me as a child upon its 
mother; and O, how blessed is now the con- 
sciousness that I never disappointed her ! " This 
great bereavement was borne with calmness, for 
loneliness was cheered by hope of reunion. On the 
anniversary of her loss the survivor wrote to me : 
" I find a growing sense of familiarity with the 
unseen world. It is as if the door were invitingly 
left ajar, and the distance were hourly diminishing. 
I never think of her as alone. The unusual num- 
ber of departed friends for whom we had recently 
mourned seem now but an increase to her happi- 



ness." 



I had two other unmarried friends, as devoted 
to each other, and as tender of each other's pe- 
culiarities as any wedded couple I ever knew. 
Without being learned, they had a love of general 



UNMARRIED WOMEN. 131 

reading, which, with active charities, made their 
days pass profitably and pleasantly. They had 
the orderly, systematic habits common to single 
ladies, but their sympathies and their views were 
larger and more liberal than those of their married 
sisters. Their fingers were busy for the poor, 
whom they were always ready to aid and comfort, 
irrespective of nation or color. Their family 
affections were remarkably strong, yet they had 
the moral courage to espouse the unpopular cause 
of the slave, in quiet opposition to the prejudices 
of beloved relatives. Death sundered this tie 
when both were advanced in years. The de- 
parted one, though not distinguished for beauty 
during her mortal life, had, after her decease, a 
wonderful loveliness, like that of an angelic child. 
It was the outward impress of her interior life. 

Few marriages are more beautiful or more hap- 
py than these sisterly unions ; and the same may 
be said of a brother and sister, whose lives are 
bound together. All lovers of English literature 
know how charmingly united in mind and heart 
were Charles Lamb and his gifted sister ; and our 
own poet, Whittier, so dear to the people's heart, 
has a home made lovely by the same fraternal 
relation of mutual love and dependence. 

A dear friend of mine, whom it was some good 
man's loss not to have for a life-mate, adopted the 
orphan sons of her brother, and reared them with 
more than parental wisdom and tenderness, caring 



132 UNMARRIED WOMEN. 

for all their physical wants, guiding them in pre- 
cept and example by the most elevated moral 
standard, bestowing on them the highest intellec- 
tual culture, and studying all branches with them, 
that she might in alKthings be their companion. 

Nor is it merely in such connections, which 
somewhat resemble wedded life, that single wo- 
men make themselves useful and respected. Many 
remember the store kept for so long a time in Bos- 
ton by Miss Ann Bent. 

Her parents being poor, she early began to sup- 
port herself by teaching. A relative subsequently 
furnished her with goods to sell on commission ; 
and in this new employment she manifested such 
good judgment, integrity, and general business ca- 
pacity, that merchants were willing to trust her to 
any extent. She acquired a handsome property, 
which she used liberally to assist a large family of 
sisters and nieces, some of whom she established 
in business similar to her own. No mother or 
grandmother was ever more useful or beloved. 
One of her nieces said : " I know the beauty and 
purity of my aunt's character, for I lived with her 
forty years, and I never knew her to say or do 
anything which might not have been said or done 
before the whole world." 

I am ignorant of the particulars of Miss Bent's 
private history; but doubtless a woman of her 
comely looks, agreeable manners, and excellent 
character, might have found opportunities to mar- 



UNMARRIED WOMEN. 133 

ry, if that had been a paramount object with her. 
She lived to be more than eighty-eight years old, 
universally respected and beloved ; and the numer- 
ous relatives, toward whom she had performed a 
mother's part, cheered her old age with grateful 
affection. 

There have also been many instances of single 
women who have enlivened and illustrated their 
lives by devotion to the beautiful arts. Of these 
none are perhaps more celebrated than the Italian 
Sofonisba Angusciola and her two accomplished 
sisters. These three " virtuous gentlewomen," as 
Vasari calls them, spent their lives together in 
most charming union. All of them had uncom- 
mon talent for painting, but Sofonisba was the 
most gifted. One of her most beautiful pictures 
represents her two sisters playing at chess, attend- 
ed by the faithful old duenna, who accompanied 
them everywhere. This admirable artist lived to 
be old and blind ; and the celebrated Vandyke 
said of her, in her later years : " I have learned 
more from one blind old woman in Italy, than 
from all the masters of the art." 

Many single women have also employed their 
lives usefully and agreeably as authors. There is 
the charming Miss Mitford, whose writings cheer 
the soul like a meadow of cowslips in the spring- 
time. There is Frederica Bremer, whose writings 
have blessed so many souls. There is Joanna 
Baillie, Maria Edgeworth, Elizabeth Hamilton, 



134 UNMARRIED WOMEN. 

and our own honored Catherine M. Sedgwick, 
whose books have made the world wiser and bet- 
ter than they found it. 

I am glad to be sustained in my opinions on this 
subject by a friend whose own character invests 
single life with peculiar dignity. In a letter to 
me, she says : "I object to having single woriien 
called a class. They are individuals, differing in 
the qualities of their characters, like other human 
beings. Their isolation, as a general thing, is the 
result of unavoidable circumstances. The Author 
of Nature doubtless intended that men and women 
should live together. But, in the present state 
of the world's progress, society has, in many re- 
spects, become artificial in proportion to its civili- 
zation ; and consequently the number of single 
women must constantly increase. If humanity 
were in a state of natural, healthy development, 
this would not be so ; for young people would then 
be willing to begin married life with simplicity and 
frugality, and real happiness would increase in 
proportion to the diminution of artificial wants. 
This prospect, however, lies in the future, and 
many generations of single women must come and 
go before it will be realized. 

"But the achievement of character is the highest 
end that can be proposed to any human being, and 
there is nothing in single life to prevent a woman 
from attaining this great object; on the contrary, 
it is in many respects peculiarly favorable to it. 



UNMARRIED WOMEN. 135 

The measure of strength in character is the power 
to conquer circumstances when they refuse to co- 
operate with us. The temptations peculiarly inci- 
dent to single life are petty selfishness, despondency 
under the suspicion of neglect, and ennui from the 
want of interesting occupation. If an ordinary, 
feeble-minded woman is exposed to these tempta- 
tions, she will be very likely to yield to them. 
But she would not be greatly different in charac- 
ter, if protected by a husband and flanked with 
children ; her feebleness would remain the same, 
and would only manifest itself under new forms. 

" Marriage, under favorable circumstances, is 
unquestionably a promoter of human happiness. 
But mistakes are so frequently made by entering 
thoughtlessly into this indissoluble connection, and 
so much wretchedness ensues from want of suffi- 
cient mental discipline to make the best of what 
cannot be remedied, that most people can discover 
among their acquaintance as large a proportion 
of happy single women as they can of happy wives. 
Moreover, the happiness of unmarried women is 
as independent of mere gifts of fortune, as that 
of other individuals. Indeed, all solid happiness 
must spring from inward sources. Some of the 
most truly contented and respectable women I 
have ever known have been domestics, who grew 
old in one family, and were carefully looked after, 
in their declining days, by the children of those 
whom they faithfully served in youth. 



136 UNMARRIED WOMEN. 

" Most single women might have married, had 
they seized upon the first opportunity that offered ; 
but some unrevealed attachment, too high an ideal, 
or an innate fastidiousness, have left them solitary ; 
therefore, it is fair to assume that many of them 
have more sensibility and true tenderness than 
some of their married sisters. Those who remain 
single in consequence of too much worldly ambi- 
tion, or from the gratification of coquettish vanity, 
naturally swell the ranks of those peevish, discon- 
tented ones, who bring discredit on single life in 
the abstract. But when a delicate gentlewoman 
deliberately prefers passing through life alone, to 
linking her fate with that of a man toward whom 
she feels no attraction, why should she ever repent 
of so high an exercise of her reason ? This class 
of women are often the brightest ornaments of 
society. Men find in them calm, thoughtful 
friends, and safe confidants, on whose sympathy 
they can rely without danger. In the nursery, 
their labors, being voluntary, are less exhausting 
than a parent's. When the weary, fretted mother 
turns a deaf ear to the twenty-times-repeated ques- 
tion, the baffled urchins retreat to the indulgent 
aunt, or dear old familiar friend, sure of obtaining 
a patient hearing and a kind response. Almost 
everybody can remember some samples of such 
Penates, whose hearts seem to be too large to be 
confined to any one set of children. 

" Some of my fairest patterns of feminine excel- 



UNMARRIED WOMEN. 137 

lence have been of the single sisterhood. Of 
those unfortunate ones who are beacons, rather 
than models, I cannot recall an individual whose 
character I think would have been materially im- 
proved by marriage. The faults which make a 
single woman disagreeable would probably exist to 
the same degree if she were a wife ; and the vir- 
tues which adorn her in a state of celibacy would 
make her equally beloved and honored if she were 
married. The human soul is placed here for de- 
velopment and progress ; and it is capable of con- 
verting all circumstances into means of growth 
and advancement. 

" Among my early recollections is that of a lady 
of stately presence, who died while I was still 
young, but not till she had done much to remove 
from my mind the idea that the name of 4 old 
maid' was a term of reproach. She was the 
daughter of Judge Russell, and aunt to the late 
Reverend and beloved Dr. Lowell. She had been 
one of a numerous family of brothers and sisters, 
but in my childhood was sole possessor of the old 
family mansion, where she received her friends 
and practised those virtues which gained for her 
the respect of the whole community. Sixty years 
ago, it was customary to speak of single women 
with far less deference than it now is ; and I re- 
member being puzzled by the extremely respectful 
manner in which she was always mentioned. If 
there were difficulties in the parish, or if any doubt- 



138 UNMARRIED WOMEN. 

fill matters were under discussion, the usual ques- 
tion was ' What is Miss Russell's opinion ? ' I 
used to think to myself, ' She is an old maid, after 
all, yet people always speak of her as if she were 
some great person.' 

u Miss Burleigh was another person of whom I 
used to hear much through the medium of mutual 
friends. She resided with a married sister in Sa- 
lem, and was the ' dear Aunt Susan,' not only of 
the large circle of her own nephews and nieces, 
but of all their friends and favorites. Having 
ample means, she surrounded herself with choice 
books and pictures, and such objects of Art or 
Nature as would entertain and instruct young 
minds. Her stores of knowledge were prodigious, 
and she had such a happy way of imparting it, 
that lively boys were glad to leave their play, to 
spend an hour with Aunt Susan. She read to her 
young friends at stated times, and made herself 
perfectly familiar with them ; and as they grew 
older she became their chosen confidant. She was, 
in fact, such a centre of light and warmth, that no 
one could approach her sphere without being con- 
scious of its vivifying influence. 

" ' Aunt Sarah Stetson,' another single lady, was 
a dear and honored friend of my own. She was 
of masculine size and stature, gaunt and ungainly 
in the extreme. But before she had uttered three 
sentences, her hearers said to themselves, ' Here is 
a wise woman ! ' She was the oldest of thirteen 



UNMARRIED WOMEN. 139 

children, early deprived of their father, and she 
bore the brunt of life from youth upward. She 
received only such education as was afforded by 
the public school of an obscure town seventy years 
ago. To add to their scanty means of subsistence, 
she learned the tailor's trade. In process of time, 
the other children swarmed off from the parental 
hive, the little farm was sold, and she lived alone 
with her mother. She built a small cottage out of 
her own earnings, and had the sacred pleasure of 
taking her aged parent to her own home, and min- 
istering with her own hands to all her wants. For 
sixteen years, she never spent a night from home, 
but assiduously devoted herself to the discharge of 
this filial duty, and to the pursuance of her trade. 
Yet in the midst of this busy life, she managed to 
become respectably familiar with English literature, 
especially with history. Whatever she read, she 
derived from it healthful aliment for the growth of 
her mental powers. She was full of wise maxims 
and rules of life ; not doled out with see-saw prosi- 
ness, but with strong common sense, rich and racy, 
and frequently flavored with the keenest satire. 
She had a flashing wit, and wonderful power of 
detecting shams of all sorts. Her religious opin- 
ions were orthodox, and she was an embodiment 
of the Puritan character. She was kindly in her 
feelings, and alive to every demonstration of affec- 
tion, but she had a granite firmness of principle, 
which rendered her awful toward deceivers and 



140 UNMARRIED WOMEN. 

transgressors. All the intellectual people of the 
town sought her company with avidity. The Uni- 
tarian minister and his family, a wealthy man, who 
happened to be also the chief scholar in the place, 
and the young people generally, took pleasure in 
resorting to Aunt Sarah's humble home, to minis- 
ter to her simple wants, and gather up her words of 
wisdom. Her spirit was bright and cheerful to the 
last. One of her sisters, who had been laboring 
sixteen years as a missionary among the south- 
western Indians, came to New England to visit 
the scattered members of her family. After see- 
ing them in their respective homes, she declared : 
4 Sarah is the most light-hearted of them all ; and 
it is only by her fireside that I have been able to 
forget past hardships in merry peals of laughter.' 

41 During my last interview with Aunt Sarah, 
when she was past seventy years of age, she said, 
4 1 have lived very agreeably single ; but if I be- 
come infirm, I suppose I shall feel the want of life's 
nearest ties.' In her case, however, the need was 
of short duration, and an affectionate niece sup- 
plied the place of a daughter. 

" Undoubtedly, the arms of children and grand- 
children form the most natural and beautiful cradle 
for old age. But loneliness is often the widow's 
portion, as well as that of the single woman ; and 
parents are often left solitary by the death or emi- 
gration of their children. 

46 I am tempted to speak also of a living friend, 



UNMARRIED WOMEN. 141 

now past her sixtieth year. She is different from 
the others, but this difference only confirms my 
theory that the mind can subdue all things to itself. 
This lady is strictly feminine in all her habits and 
pursuits, and regards the needle as the chief im- 
plement of woman's usefulness. If the Dorcas 
labors performed by her one pair of hands could 
be collected into a mass, out of the wear and waste 
of half a century, they would form an amazing 
pile. In former years, when her health allowed 
her to circulate among numerous family connec- 
tions, her visits were always welcomed as a jubilee ; 
for every dilapidated wardrobe was sure to be 
renovated by Aunt Mary's nimble fingers. She 
had also a magic power of drawing the little ones 
to herself. Next to their fathers and mothers, she 
was the best beloved. The influence which her 
loving heart gained over them in childhood in- 
creased with advancing years. She is now the best 
and dearest friend of twenty or thirty nephews and 
nieces, some of whom have families of their own. 
" A large amount of what is termed mother-wit, a 
readiness at repartee, and quickness in seizing un- 
expected associations of words or ideas, rendered 
her generally popular in company ; but the deep 
cravings of her heart could never be satisfied with 
what is termed success in society. The intimate 
love of a few valued friends was what she always 
coveted, and never failed to win. For several years 
she has been compelled by ill health to live entirely 



142 UNMARRIED WOMEN. 

• 

at home. There she now is, fulfilling the most 
important mission of her whole beneficent life, 
training to virtue and usefulness five motherless 
children of her brother. Feeble and emaciated, 
she lives in her chamber surrounded bv these 
orphans, who now constitute her chief hold on life. 
She shares all their pleasures, is the depositary of 
their little griefs, and unites in herself the relations 
of aunt, mother, and grandmother. She has faith 
to believe that her frail thread of existence will be 
prolonged for the sake of these little ones. The 
world still comes to her, in her seclusion, through 
a swarm of humble friends and dependants, who 
find themselves comforted and ennobled by the 
benignant patience with which she listens to their 
various experiences, and gives them kindly, sym- 
pathizing counsel, more valuable to them than 
mere pecuniary aid. Her spirit of self-abnegation 
is carried almost to asceticism ; but she reserves 
her severity wholly for herself; toward others she 
is prodigal of indulgence. This goodly temple of 
a human soul was reared in these fair proportions 
upon a foundation of struggles, disappointments, 
and bereavements. A friend described her serene 
exterior as a ' placid, ocean-deep manner ' ; under 
it lies a silent history of trouble and trial, con- 
verted into spiritual blessings. 

" The conclusion of the matter in my mind is, 
that a woman may make a respectable appearance 
as a wife, with a character far less noble than 



UNMARRIED WOMEN. 143 

is necessary to enable her to lead a single life 
with usefulness and dignity. She is sheltered 
and concealed behind her husband ; but the 
unmarried woman must rely upon herself; and 
she lives in a glass house, open to the gaze of 
every passer-by. To the feeble-minded, marriage 
is almost a necessity, and if wisely formed it 
doubtless renders the life of any woman more 
happy. But happiness is not the sole end and aim 
of this life. We are sent here to build up a 
character ; and sensible women may easily 
reconcile themselves to a single life, since 
even its disadvantages may be con- 
verted into means of develop- 
ment of all the faculties 
with which God 
has endowed 
them." 

? 

You are " getting into years." Yes, but the 
years are getting into you ; the ripe, mellow years. 
One by one, the crudities of your youth are falling 
off from you ; the vanity, the egotism, the bewil- 
derment, the uncertainty. Every wrong road into 
which you have wandered has brought you, by the 
knowledge of that mistake, nearer to the truth. 
Nearer and nearer you are approaching your- 
self. — Gail Hamilton. 



THE OLD MAID'S PRAYER TO 

DIANA. 



By Mrs. Tighe, an Irish author, who wrote more than fifty 
years ago, when single women had not attained to the honorable 
position which they now occupy. 



SINCE thou and the stars, my dear goddess, decree 
That, old maid as I am, an old maid I must be, 
O, hear the petition I offer to thee ! 
For to bear it must be my endeavor : 
From the grief of my friendships all drooping around, 
Till not one whom I loved in my youth can be found ; 
From the legacy-hunters, that near us abound, 
Diana, thy servant deliver ! 

From the scorn of the young, and the flaunts of the gay, 

From all the trite ridicule rattled away 

By the pert ones, who know nothing wiser to say, — 

Or a spirit to laugh at them, give her ! 

From repining at fancied neglected desert ; 

Or, vain of a civil speech, bridling alert ; 

From finical niceness, or slatternly dirt ; 

Diana, thy servant deliver ! 



THE OLD MAID'S PRAYER TO DIANA. 145 

From over solicitous guarding of pelf; 

From humor unchecked, that most obstinate elf; 

From every unsocial attention to self, 

Or ridiculous whim whatsoever ; 

From the vaporish freaks, or methodical airs, 

Apt to sprout in a brain that 's exempted from cares ; 

From impertinent meddling in others' affairs ; 

Diana, thy servant deliver ! 

From the erring attachments of desolate souls ; 
From the love of spadille, and of matadore voles ; * 
Or of lap-dogs, and parrots, and monkeys, and owls, 
Be they ne'er so uncommon and clever ; 
But chief from the love, with all loveliness flown, 
Which makes the dim eye condescend to look down 
On some ape of a fop, or some owl of a clown ; 
Diana, thy servant deliver ! 

From spleen at beholding the young more caressed ; 
From pettish asperity, tartly expressed ; 
From scandal, detraction, and every such pest; 
From all, thy true servant deliver ! 
Nor let satisfaction depart from her cot ; 
Let her sing, if at ease, and be patient if not ; 
Be pleased when regarded, content when forgot, 
Till the Fates her slight thread shall dissever. 

* Terms used in Ombre, a game at cards. 



GRANDFATHER'S REVERIE. 



By THEODORE PARKER. 




Grandfather is old. His back is 

bent. In the street he sees crowds of 
men looking dreadfully young, and 
walking fearfully swift. He wonders 
where all the old folks are. Once, when a boy, he 
could not find people young enough for him, and 
sidled up to any young stranger he met on Sun- 
days, wondering why God made the world so old. 
Now he goes to Commencement to see his grand- 
son take his degree, and is astonished at the yduth 
of the audience. " This is new," he says ; "it 
did not use to be so fifty years ago." At meeting, 
the minister seems surprisingly young, and the au- 
dience young. He looks round, and is astonished 
that there are so few venerable heads. The audi- 
ence seem not decorous. They come in late, and 
hurry off early, clapping the doors after them with 
irreverent bang. But grandfather is decorous, 
well mannered, early in his seat ; if jostled, he 



GRANDFATHERS REVERIE. 147 

jostles not again ; elbowed, he returns it not ; 
crowded, he thinks no evil. He is gentlemanly to 
the rude, obliging to the insolent and vulgar ; for 
grandfather is a gentleman ; not puffed up with 
mere money, but edified with well-grown manli- 
ness. Time has dignified his good manners. 

It is night. The family are all abed. Grand- 
father sits by his old-fashioned fire. He draws 
his old-fashioned chair nearer to the hearth. On 
the stand which his mother gave him are the can- 
dlesticks, also of old time. The candles are three 
quarters burnt down ; the fire on the hearth also 
is low. He has been thoughtful all day, talking 
half to himself, chanting a bit of verse, humming 
a snatch of an old tune. He kissed his pet grand- 
daughter more tenderly than common, before she 
went to bed. He takes out of his bosom a little 
locket ; nobody ever sees it. Therein are two 
little twists of hair. As Grandfather ldoks at them, 
the outer twist of hair becomes a whole head of 
ambrosial curls. He remembers stolen interviews, 
meetings by moonlight. He remembers how sweet 
the evening star looked, and how he laid his hand 
on another's shoulder, and said, " You are my 
evening star." 

The church-clock strikes the midnight hour. 
He looks in his locket again. The other twist is 
the hair of his first-born son. At this same hour 
of midnight, once, many years ago, he knelt and 
prayed, when the long agony was over, — " My 



148 GRANDFATHERS REVERIE. 

God, I thank thee that, though I am a father, I 
am still a husband, too ! What am I, that unto 
me a life should be given and another spared ! " 
Now he has children, and children's children, the 
joy of his old age. But for many a year his wife 
has looked to him from beyond the evening star. 
She is still the evening star herself, yet more beau- 
tiful ; a star that never sets ; not mortal wife now, 
but angel. 
The last stick on his andirons snaps asunder, and 
falls outward. Two faintly smoking brands 
stand there. Grandfather lays them to- 
gether, and they flame up ; the 
two smokes are united in one 
flame. " Even so let it 
be in heaven," says 
Grandfather. 

f 

Useless, do you say you are ? You are of great 
use. You really are. How are you useful ? By 
being a man that is old. Your old age is a public 
good. It is indeed. No child ever listens to your 
talk without having a good done it that no school- 
ing could do. When you are walking, no one ever 
opens a gate for you to pass through, and no one 
ever honors you with any kind of help, without 
being himself the better for what he does ; for 
fellow-feeling with you ripens his soul for him. — 

MoUNTFOKD. 



THE OLD COUPLE. 



IT stands in a sunny meadow, 
The house so mossy and brown, 
"With its cumbrous old stone chimneys, 
And the gray roof sloping down. 

The trees fold their green arms round it, 

The trees a century old, 
And the winds go chanting through them, 

And the sunbeams drop their gold. 

The cowslips spring in the marshes, 
And the roses bloom on the hill, 

And beside the brook in the pastures 
The herds go feeding at will. 

The children have gone and left them ; 

They sit in the sun alone ; 
And the old wife's tears are falling, 

As she harks to the well-known tone 

That won her heart in girlhood, 

That has soothed her in many a care, 

And praises her now for the brightness 
Her old face used to wear. 



150 THE OLD COUPLE. 

She thinks again of her bridal, — 
How, dressed in her robe of white, 

She stood by her gay young lover 
In the morning's rosy light. 

O, the morning is rosy as ever, 

But the rose from her cheek is fled ; 

And the sunshine still is golden, 
But it falls on a silvery head. 

And the spring-like dreams, once vanished, 
Come back in her winter-time, 

Till her feeble pulses tremble 

With the thrill of girlhood's prime. 

And, looking forth from the window, 
She thinks how the trees have grown. 

Since, clad in her bridal whiteness, 
She crossed the old door-stone. 

Though dimmed her eyes' bright azure, 
And dimmed her hair's young gold, 

The love in her girlhood plighted 
Has never grown dim nor old. 

They sat in peace in the sunshine, 
Till the day was almost done ; 

And then at its close an angel 
Stole over the threshold stone 

He folded their hands together ; 

He touched their eyes with balm ; 
And their last breath floated upward, 

Like the close of a solemn psalm. 



THE OLD COUPLE. 151 

Like a bridal pair they traversed 

The unseen mystical road, 
That leads to the beautiful city, 

" Whose Builder and Maker is God." 

Perhaps, in that miracle country, 
They will give her lost youth back, 

And the flowers of a vanished spring-time 
Will bloom in the spirit's track. 

One draught of the living waters 
Shall call back his manhood's prime, 

And eternal years shall measure 
The love that outlived time. 

But the forms that they left behind them, 

The wrinkles and silver hair, 
Made holy to us by the kisses 

The angel had printed there, 

We will hide away 'neath the willows 

When the day is low in the west, 
Where the sunshine gleams upon them, 

And no winds disturb their rest. 

And we '11 suffer no telltale tombstone, 

With its age and date, to rise 
O'er the two who are old no longer, 

In their Father's house in the skies. 

Home Jouknal. 



A STORY OF ST. MARK'S EVE. 



By THOMAS HOOD. 



St. Mark's Day is a festival which has been observed on the 
25th of April, in Catholic countries, from time immemorial. 
The superstition alluded to in the following story was formerly 
very generally believed, and vigils in the church-porch at mid- 



night were common. 




HOPE it'll choke thee ! " said Master 
Giles, the yeoman ; and, as he said it, 
he banged his big red fist on the old 
oak table. " I do say I hope it '11 choke 
thee ! " 

The dame made no reply. She was choking 
with passion and a fowl's liver, which was the 
cause of the dispute. Much has been said and 
sung concerning the advantage of congenial tastes 
amongst married people ; but the quarrels of this 
Kentish couple arose from too great coincidence 
in their tastes. They were both fond of the little 
delicacy in question, but the dame had managed to 
secure the morsel to herself. This was sufficient 
to cause a storm of high words, which, properly 
understood, signifies very low language. Their 



A STORY OF ST. MARKS EVE. 153 

meal times seldom passed over without some con- 
tention of this sort. As sure as the knives and 
forks clashed, so did they ; being in fact equally 
greedy and disagreedy ; and when they did pick a 
quarrel, they picked it to the bone. 

It was reported that, on some occasions, they 
had not even contented themselves with hard 
speeches, but had come to scuffling ; he taking to 
boxing and she to pinching, though in a far less 
amicable manner than is practised by the taker of 
snuff. On the present difference, however, they 
were satisfied with " wishing each other dead with 
all their hearts "; and there seemed little doubt of 
the sincerity of the aspiration, on looking at their 
malignant faces ; for they made a horrible picture 
in this frame of mind. 

Now it happened that this quarrel took place on 
the morning of St. Mark ; a saint who was sup- 
posed on that festival to favor his votaries with a 
peep into the book of fate. For it was the popu- 
lar belief in those days, that, if a person should 
keep watch at midnight beside the church, the ap- 
paritions of all those of the parish who were to be 
taken by death before the next anniversary would 
be seen entering the porch. The yeoman, like his 
neighbors, believed most devoutly in this supersti- 
tion ; and in the very moment that he breathed 
the unseemly aspiration aforesaid, it occurred to 
him that the eve was at hand, when, by observing 
the rite of St. Mark, he might know to a certainty 

7* 



154 A STORY OF ST MARK'S EVE. 

whether this unchristian wish was to be one of 
those that bear fruit. Accordingly, a little before 
midnight, he stole quietly out of the house, and 
set forth on his way to the church. 

In the mean time, the dame called to mind the 
same ceremonial ; and, having the like motive for 
curiosity with her husband, she also put on her 
cloak and calash, and set out, though by a different 
path, on the same errand. 

The night of the Saint was as dark and chill as 
the mysteries he was supposed to reveal ; the moon 
throwing but a short occasional glance, as sluggish 
masses of cloud were driven slowly from her face. 
Thus it fell out that our two adventurers were 
quite unconscious of being in company, till a sud- 
den glimpse of moonlight showed them to each 
other, only a few yards apart. Both, through a 
natural panic, became pale as ghosts ; and both 
made eagerly toward the church porch. Much 
as they had wished for this vision, they could not 
help quaking and stopping on the spot, as if turned 
to stones ; and in this position the dark again threw 
a sudden curtain over them, and they disappeared 
from each other. 

The two came to one conclusion ; each conceiv- 
ing that St. Mark had marked the other to himself. 
With this comfortable knowledge, the widow and 
widower elect hied home again by the roads they 
came ; and as their custom w T as to sit apart after a 
quarrel, they repaired to separate chambers, each 
ignorant of the other's excursion. 



A STORY OF ST. MARK'S EVE. 155 

By and by, being called to supper, instead of 
sulking as aforetime, they came down together, 
each being secretly in the best humor, though 
mutually suspected of the worst. Amongst other 
things on the table, there was a calf's sweetbread, 
being one of those very dainties that had often set 
them together by the ears. The dame looked and 
longed, but she refrained from its appropriation, 
thinking within herself that she could give up 
sweetbreads for one year ; and the farmer made a 
similar reflection. After pushing the dish to and 
fro several times, by a common impulse they di- 
vided the treat ; and then, having supped, they 
retired amicably to rest, whereas until then they 
had seldom gone to bed without falling out. The 
truth was, each looked upon the other as being 
already in the churchyard. 

On the morrow, which happened to be the 
dame's birthday, the farmer was the first to wake ; 
and 'knowing what lie knew, and having, besides, 
but just roused himself out of a dream strictly 
confirmatory of the late vigil, he did not scruple 
to salute his wife, and wish her many happy returns 
of the day. The wife, who knew as much as he, 
very readily wished him the same ; having, in 
truth, but just rubbed out of her eyes the pattern 
of a widow's bonnet that had been submitted to 
her in her sleep. She took care, however, at din- 
ner to give the fowl's liver to the doomed man ; 
considering that when he was dead and gone she 



156 A STORY OF ST. MARK'S EVE. 

could have them, if she pleased, seven days in the 
week ; and the farmer, on his part, took care to 
help her to many tidbits. Their feeling toward 
each other was that of an impatient host with re- 
gard to an unwelcome guest, showing scarcely a 
bare civility while in expectation of his stay, but 
overloading him with hospitality when made cer- 
tain of his departure. 

In this manner they went on for some six months, 
without any addition of love between them, and as 
much selfishness as ever, yet living in a subservi- 
ence to the comforts and inclinations of each other, 
sometimes not to be found even amongst couples 
of sincerer affections. There were as many causes 
for quarrel as ever, but every day it became less 
worth while to quarrel ; so letting bygones be by- 
gones, they were indifferent to the present, and 
thought only of the future, considering each other 
(to adopt a common phrase) " as good as dead." 

Ten months wore away, and the farmer's birth- 
day arrived in its turn. The dame, who had passed 
an uncomfortable night, having dreamed, in truth, 
that she did not much like herself in mourning, 
saluted him as soon as the day dawned, and, with a 
sigh, wished him many years to come. The farmer 
repaid her in kind, the sigh included ; his own 
visions having been of the painful sort ; for he 
dreamed of having a headache from wearing a 
black hat-band, and the malady still clung to him 
when awake. The whole morning was spent in 



A STORY OF ST MARK'S EVE. 157 

silent meditation and melancholy, on both sides ; 
and when dinner came, although the most favorite 
dishes were upon the table, they could not eat. The 
farmer, resting his elbows upon the board, with his 
face between his hands, gazed wistfully on his wife. 
The dame, leaning back in her high arm-chair, 
regarded the yeoman quite as ruefully. Their 
minds, travelling in the same direction, and at an 
equal rate, arrived together at the same reflection ; 
but the farmer was the first to give it utterance : 
" Thee'd be missed, dame, if thee were to die ! " 
The dame started. Although she had nothing 
but death at that moment before her eyes, she was 
far from dreaming of her own exit. Recovering, 
however, from the shock, her thoughts flowed into 
their old channel, and she rejoined in the same 
spirit : 

" I wish, master, thee may live so long as I ! ' 
The farmer, in his own mind, wished to live 
rather longer ; for, at the utmost, he considered that 
his wife's bill of mortality had but two months 
to run ; the calculation made him sorrowful ; dur- 
ing the last few months she had consulted his 
appetite, bent to his humor, and conformed her 
own inclinations to his, in a manner that could 
never be supplied. 

His wife, from being at first useful to him, had 
become agreeable, and at last dear ; and as he 
contemplated her approaching fate, he could not 
help thinking out audibly, " that he should be a 



158 A STORY OF ST. MARK'S EVE. 

lonesome man when she was gone." The dame, 
this time, heard the survivorship foreboded with- 
out starting ; hut she marvelled much at what she 
thought the infatuation of a doomed man. So 
perfect was her faith in the infallibility of St. 
Mark, that she had even seen the symptoms of 
mortal disease, as palpable as plague-spots, on the 
devoted yeoman. Giving his body up, therefore, 
for lost, a strong sense of duty persuaded her that 
it was imperative on her, as a Christian, to warn 
the unsuspecting farmer of his dissolution. Ac- 
cordingly, with a solemnity adapted to the subject, 
a tenderness of recent growth, and a memento mori 
face, she broached the matter in the following 
question : 

" Master, how bee'st thee ? " 

" As hearty as a buck, dame ; and I wish thee 
the like." 

A dead silence ensued ; the farmer was as un- 
prepared as ever. There is a great fancy for 
breaking the truth by dropping it gently ; an ex- 
periment which has never answered, any more 
than with iron-stone china. The dame felt this ; 
and, thinking it better to throw the news at her 
husband at once, she told him, in as many words, 
that he was a dead man. 

It was now the yeoman's turn to be staggered. 
By a parallel course of reasoning, he had just 
wrought himself up to a similar disclosure, and 
the dame's death-warrant was just ready upon his 



A STORY OF ST. MARK'S EVE. 159 

tongue, when he met with his own despatch, 
sicned, sealed, and delivered. Conscience in- 
stantly pointed out the oracle from which she 
had derived the omen. 

" Thee hast watched, dame, at the church 
porch, then?" 

" Ay, master." 

" And thee didst see me spirituously ? ' 

" In the brown wrap, with the boot hose. Thee 
were coming to the church, by Fair thorn Gap ; in 
the while I were coming by the Holly Hedge." 

For a minute the farmer paused ; but the next 
he burst into a fit of uncontrollable laughter ; peal 
after peal, each higher than the last. The poor 
woman had but one explanation for this phenome- 
non. She thought it a delirium ; a lightening be- 
fore death ; and was beginning to wring her hands, 
and lament, when she was checked by the merry 
yeoman : 

" Dame, thee bee'st a fool. It was I myself 
thee seed at the church porch. I seed thee, too ; 
with a notice to quit upon thy face ; but, thanks to 
God, thee bee'st a living ; and that is more than I 
cared to say of thee this day ten-month ! " 

The dame made no answer. Her heart was too 
full to speak ; but, throwing her arms round her 
husband, she showed that she shared in his senti- 
ment. And from that hour, by practising a care- 
ful abstinence from oifence, or a temperate suffer- 
ance of its appearance, they became the most 



160 A STORY OF ST. MARK'S EVE. 

united couple in the county. But it must be 
said, that their comfort was not complete till they 
had seen each other, in safety, over the perilous 
anniversary of St. Mark's Eve. 



The moral this story conveys is one which 
might prove a useful monitor to us all, if we 
could keep it in daily remembrance. Few, indeed, 
are so coarse in their manifestations of ill-temper 
as this Kentish couple are described ; but we all 
indulge, more or less, in unreasonable fretfulness, 
and petty acts of selfishness, in the relations of 
husband and wife, parents and children, brothers 
and sisters, — in fact, in all the relations of life. 
It would help us greatly to be kind, forbearing, 
and self-sacrificing toward neighbors, friends, and 
relatives, if it were always present to our minds 
that death may speedily close our intercourse with 
them in this world. — L. M. C. 




WHAT THE OLD WOMAN SAID. 

ONE summer eve, I chanced to pass, where, by the 
cottage gate, 
An aged woman in the town sat crooning to her mate. 
The frost of age was on her brow, its dimness in her 

eye, 
And her bent figure to and fro rocked all unconsciously. 
The frost of age was on her brow, yet garrulous her 

tongue, 
As she compared the " doings now" with those when 

she was young. 
" When /was young, young gals were meek, and looked 

round kind of shy ; 
And when they were compelled to speak, they did so 

modestly. 
They stayed at home, and did the work ; made Indian 

bread and wheaten; 
And only went to singing-school, and sometimes to night 

meetin\ 
And children were obedient then; they had no saucy 

airs ; 
And minded what their mothers said, and learned their 

hymns and prayers. 

K 



162 WHAT THE OLD WOMAN SAID. 

But now-a-days they know enough, before they know 

their letters ; 
And young ones that can hardly walk will contradict 

their betters. 
Young women now go kiting round, and looking out for 

beaux ; 
And scarcely one in ten is found, who makes or mends 

her clothes ! 
But then, I tell my daughter, 
Folks don't do as they 'd ought'-ter. 

When i" was young, if a man had failed, he shut up 

house and hall, 
And never ventured out till night, if he ventured out at 

all; 
And his wife sold all her china plates; and his sons 

came home from college ; 
And his gals left school, and learned to wash and bake, 

and such like knowledge ; 
They gave up cake and pumpkin-pies, and had the 

plainest eatin' ; 
And never asked folks home to tea, and scarcely went 

to meetin'. 
The man that was a Bankrupt called, was kind'er 

shunned by men, 
And hardly dared to show his head amongst his town 

folks then. 
But now-a-days, when a merchant fails, they say he 

makes a penny ; 
The wife don't have a gown the less, and his daughters 

just as many ; 
His sons they smoke their choice cigars, and drink their 

costly wine ; 



WHAT THE OLD WOMAN SAID. 163 

And she goes to the opera, and he has folks to dine ! 
He walks the streets, he drives his gig ; men show him 

all civilities ; 
And what in my day we called debts, are now his lie- 
abilities ! 
They call the man unfortunate who ruins half the city, — 
In my day 't was his creditors to whom we gave our pity. 
But then, I '11 tell my daughter, 
Folks don't do as they 'd ough'-ter. 

From the Olive Branch. 



THE SPRING JOURNEY. 



O, green was the corn as I rode on my way, 
And bright were the dews on the blossoms of May, 
And dark was the sycamore's shade to behold, 
And the oak's tender leaf was of emerald and gold. 

The thrush from his holly, the lark from his cloud, 
Their chorus of rapture sung jovial and loud; 
From the soft vernal sky to the soft grassy ground, 
There was beauty above me, beneath, and around. 

The mild southern breeze brought a shower from the hill, 

And yet, though it left me all dripping and chill, 

I felt a new pleasure, as onward I sped, 

To gaze where the rainbow gleamed broad overhead. 

O such be life's journey ! and such be our skill 
To lose in its blessings the sense of its ill ; 
Through sunshine and shower may our progress be even, 
And our tears add a charm to the prospect of heaven. 

Bishop Heber. 



MORAL HINTS 



By L. MARIA CHILD. 




ROBABLY there are no two things 
I that tend so much to make human be- 
! ings unhappy in themselves and un- 
vs pleasant to others, as habits of fretful- 
ness and despondency ; two faults peculiarly apt 
to grow upon people after they have passed their 
youth. Both these ought to be resisted with con- 
stant vigilance, as we would resist a disease. This 
we should do for our own sakes, and as a duty we 
owe to others. Life is made utterly disagreeable 
when we are daily obliged to listen to a complain- 
ing house-mate. How annoying and disheartening 
are such remarks as these : " I was not invited to 
the party last night. I suppose I am getting to be 
of no consequence to anybody now." " Yes, that 
is a beautiful present you have had sent you. 
Nobody sends me presents." " I am a useless en- 
cumbrance now. I can see that people want me 
out of their way." Yet such observations are not 



MORAL HINTS. 165 

unfrequently heard from persons surrounded by 
external comforts, and who are- consequently en- 
vied by others of similar disposition in less favora- 
ble circumstances. 

No virtue has been so much recommended to 
the old as cheerfulness. Colton says : " Cheer- 
fulness ouo;ht to be the viaticum of their life to the 
old. Age without cheerfulness is a Lapland win- 
ter without a sun." 

Montaigne says : " The most manifest sign of 
wisdom is continued cheerfulness." 

Dr. Johnson says : " The habit of looking on 
the best side of every event is worth more than a 
thousand pounds a year." 

Tucker says : " The point of aim for our vigi- 
lance to hold in view is to dwell upon the brightest 
parts in every prospect ; to call off the thoughts 
when running upon disagreeable objects, and strive 
to be pleased with the present circumstances sur- 
rounding us." 

Southey says, in one of his letters : " I have 
told you of the Spaniard, who always put on his 
spectacles when about to eat cherries, that they 
might look bigger and more tempting. In like 
manner, I make the most of my enjoyments ; and 
though I do not cast my eyes away from my 
troubles, I pack them in as little compass as I can 
for myself, and never let them annoy others." 

Perhaps you will say : " All this is very fine talk 
for people who are naturally cheerful. But I am 



166 MORAL HINTS. 

low-spirited by temperament ; and how is that to 
be helped ? " In the first place, it would be well 
to ascertain whether what yon call being naturally 
low-spirited does not arise from the infringement 
of some physical law ; something wrong in what 
you eat or drink, or something unhealthy in other 
personal habits. But if you inherit a tendency to 
look on the dark side of things, resolutely call in 
the aid of your reason to counteract it. Leigh 
Hunt says : "If you are melancholy for the first 
time, you will find, upon a little inquiry, that 
others have been melancholy many times, and yet 
are cheerful now. If you have been melancholy 
many times, recollect that you have got over all 
those times ; and try if you cannot find means of 
getting over them better." 

If reason will not afford sufficient help, call in 
the aid of conscience. In this world of sorrow and 
disappointment, every human being has trouble 
enough of his own. It is unkind to add the weight 
of your despondency to the burdens of another, 
who, if you knew all his secrets, you might find 
had a heavier load than yours to carry. You find 
yourself refreshed by the presence of cheerful 
people. Why not make earnest efforts to confer 
that pleasure on others ? You will find half the 
battle is gained, if you never allow yourself to say 
anything gloomy. If you habitually try to pack 
your troubles away out of other people's sight, you 
will be in a fair way to forget them yourself; first, 



MORAL HINTS. 167 

because evils become exaggerated to the imagina- 
tion by repetition ; and, secondly, because an effort 
made for the happiness of others lifts us above 
ourselves. 

Those who are conscious of a tendency to dejec- 
tion should also increase as much as possible the 
circle of simple and healthy enjoyments. They 
should cultivate music and flowers, take walks to 
look at beautiful sunsets, read entertaining books, 
and avail themselves of any agreeable social in- 
tercourse within their reach. They should also 
endeavor to surround themselves with pleasant 
external objects. 

Our states of feeling, and even our characters, 
are influenced by the things we habitually look 
upon or listen to. A sweet singer in a household, 
or a musical instrument played with feeling, do 
more than afford us mere sensuous pleasure ; they 
help us morally, by their tendency to harmonize 
discordant moods. Pictures of pleasant scenes, or 
innocent objects, are, for similar reasons, desirable 
in the rooms we inhabit. Even the paper on the 
walls may help somewhat to drive away " blue 
devils," if ornamented with graceful patterns, that 
light up cheerfully. The paper on the parlor of 
Linnaeus represented beautiful flowering plants 
from the East and West Indies ; and on the walls 
of his bedroom were delineated a great variety of 
butterflies, dragon-flies, and other brilliant insects. 
Doubtless it contributed not a little to the happi- 



168 MORAL HINTS. 

ness of the great naturalist thus to live in the 
midst of his pictured thoughts. To cultivate flow- 
ers, to arrange them in pretty vases, to observe 
their beauties of form and color, has a healthy 
effect, both on mind and body. Some temper- 
aments are more susceptible than others to these 
fine influences, but they are not entirely without 
effect on any human soul ; and forms of beauty 
can now be obtained with so little expenditure 
of money, that few need to be entirely destitute of 
them. 

Perhaps you will say, " If I feel low-spirited, 
even if I do not speak of it, I cannot help showing 
it." The best way to avoid the intrusion of sad 
feelings is to immerse yourself in some occupation. 
Adam Clarke said : "I have lived to know that 
the secret of happiness is . never to allow your 
energies to stagnate." If you are so unfortunate 
as to have nothing to do at home, then, the mo- 
ment you begin to feel a tendency to depression, 
start forth for the homes of others. Tidy up the 
room of some helpless person, who has nobody to 
wait upon her ; carry flowers to some invalid, or 
read to some lonely old body. If you are a man, 
saw and split wood for some poor widow, or lone 
woman, in the neighborhood. If vou are a woman, 
knit stockings for poor children, or mend caps for 
those whose eyesight is failing ; and when you 
have done them, don't send them home, but take 
them yourself. Merely to have every hour of life 



MORAL HINTS, 169 

fully occupied is a great blessing ; but the full 
benefit of constant employment cannot be expe- 
rienced unless we are occupied in a way that pro- 
motes the good of others, while it exercises our 
own bodies and employs our own minds. Plato 
went so far as to call exercise a cure for a wounded 
conscience ; and, provided usefulness is combined 
with it, there is certainly a good deal of truth in 
the assertion ; inasmuch as constant helpful activity 
leaves the mind no leisure to brood over useless 
regrets, and by thus covering the wound from the 
corrosion of thought, helps it to become a scar. 

Against that listless indifference, which the 
French call ennui, industry is even a better pre- 
servative than it is against vain regrets. There- 
fore, it seems to me unwise for people in the 
decline of life to quit entirely their customary 
occupations and pursuits. The happiest specimens 
of old as;e are those men and women who have 
been busy to the last ; and there can be no doubt 
that the decay of our powers, both bodily and 
mental, is much hindered by their constant exer- 
cise, provided it be not excessive. 

It is recorded of Michael Angelo, that " after he 
was sixty years old, though not very robust, he 
would cut away as many scales from a block of 
very hard marble, in a quarter of an hour, as three 
young sculptors would have effected in three or 
four hours. Such was the impetuosity and fire 
with which he pursued his labors, that with a single 

8 



170 MORAL HINTS. 

stroke he brought down fragments three or four 
fingers thick, and so close upon his mark, that had 
he passed it, even in the slightest degree, there 
would have been danger of ruining the whole." 
From the time he was seventy-one years old till he 
was seventy-five, he was employed in painting the 
Pauline Chapel. It was done in fresco, which .is 
exceedingly laborious, and he confessed that it 
fatigued him greatly. He was seventy-three years 
old when he was appointed architect of the won- 
derful church of St. Peter's, at Rome ; upon which 
he expended the vast powers of his mind during 
seventeen years. He persisted in refusing com- 
pensation, and labored solely for the honor of his 
country and his church. In his eighty-seventh 
year, some envious detractors raised a report that 
he had fallen into dotage ; but he triumphantly 
refuted the charge, by producing a very beautiful 
model of St. Peter's, planned by his own mind, 
and in a great measure executed by his own hand. 
He was eighty-three, when his faithful old servant 
Urbino, who had lived with him twenty-six years, 
sickened and died. Michael Angelo, notwith- 
standing his great age, and the arduous labors of 
superintending the mighty structure of St. Peter's, 
and planning new fortifications for Rome, under- 
took the charge of nursing him. He even watched 
over him through the night ; sleeping by his side, 
without undressing. This remarkable man lived 
ninety years, lacking a fortnight. He wrote many 



MORAL HINTS. 171 

beautiful sonnets during his last years, and con- 
tinued to make drawings, plans, and models, to the 
day of his death, though infirmities increased upon 
him, and his memory failed. 

Handel lived to be seventy-five years old, and 
though afflicted with blindness in his last years, he 
continued to produce oratorios and anthems. He 
superintended music in the orchestra only a week 
before he died. Haydn was sixty-five years old, 
when he composed his oratorio of The Creation, 
the music of which is as bright as the morning 
sunshine. When he was seventy-seven years old,' 
he went to a great concert to hear it performed. 
It affected him deeply to have his old inspirations 
thus recalled to mind. When they came to the: 
passage, " It was light ! ' he was so overpowered 
by the harmonies, that he burst into tears, and, 
pointing upwards, exclaimed : " Not from me ! Not 
from me ! but thence did all this come ! ' 

Linnaeus was past sixty-two years old when he 
built a museum at his country-seat, where he clas- 
sified and arranged a great number of plants, 
zoophytes, shells, insects, and minerals. Besides 
this, he superintended the Royal Gardens, zeal- 
ously pursued his scientific researches, corre- 
sponded by letter with many learned men, taught 
pupils, and lectured constantly in the Academic 
Gardens. His pupils travelled to all parts of the 
world, and sent him new plants and minerals to 
examine and classify. In the midst of this con- 



172 MORAL HINTS. 

stant occupation, he wrote : "I tell the truth 
when I say that I am happier than the King of 
Persia. My pupils send me treasures from the 
East and the West ; treasures more precious to 
me than Babylonish garments or Chinese vases. 
Here in the Academic Gardens is my Elysium. 
Here I learn and teach ; here I admire, and point 
out to others, the wisdom of the Great Artificer, 
manifested in the structure of His wondrous 
works." It is said that even when he was quite 
ill, the arrival of an unknown plant would infuse 
new life into him. He continued to labor with 
unremitting diligence till he was sixty-seven years 
old, when a fit of apoplexy attacked him in the 
midst of a public lecture, and so far impaired his 
memory that he became unable to teach. 

The celebrated Alexander von Humboldt lived 
ninety years, and continued to pursue his scientific 
researches and to publish learned books up to the 
very year of his departure from this world. 

The Rev. John Wesley continued to preach and 
write till his body was fairly worn out. Southey, 
his biographer, says : " When you met him in the 
street of a crowded city, he attracted notice, not 
only by his band and cassock, and his long hair, 
white and bright as silver, but by his pace and 
manner, both indicating that all his minutes were 
numbered, and that not one was to be lost." 
Wesley himself wrote : " Though I am always in 
haste, I am never in a hurry ; because I never 



MORAL HINTS. 173 

undertake more work than I can go through with 
perfect calmness of spirit." Upon completing his 
eighty-second year, he wrote : " It is now eleven 
years since I have felt any such thing as weariness. 
Many times I speak till my voice fails me, and I 
can speak no longer. Frequently I walk till my 
strength fails, and I can walk no farther. Yet 
even then I feel no sensation of weariness, but am 
perfectly easy from head to foot. I dare not im- 
pute this to natural causes. It is the will of God." 
A year later, he wrote : " I am a wonder to 
myself. Such is the goodness of God, that I am 
never tired, either with writing, preaching, or 
travel lino;." 

Isaac T. Hopper, who lived to be past eighty, 
was actively employed in helping fugitive slaves, 
and travelling about to exercise a kindly and be- 
neficent influence in prisons, until a very short 
time before his death. When he was compelled to 
take to his bed, he said to me : " I am ready and 
willing to go, only there is so much that I want 
to do." 

Some will say it is not in their power to do such 
things as these men did. That may be. But there 
is something that everybody can do. Those whose 
early habits render it difficult, or impossible, to 
learn a new science, or a new language, in the 
afternoon of life, can at least oil the hinges of mem- 
ory by learning hymns, chapters, ballads, and sto- 
ries, wherewith to console and amuse themselves 



174 MORAL HINTS. 

and others. A stock of nursery rhymes to amuse 
little children is far from being a foolish or worth- 
less acquisition, since it enables one to impart 
delight to the little souls, 

" With their wonder so intense, 
And their small experience." 

Women undoubtedly have the advantage of men, 
in those in-door occupations best suited to the in- 
firm ; for there is no end to the shoes that may be 
knit for the babies of relatives, the tidies that may 
be crocheted for the parlors of friends, and the 
socks that may be knit for the poor. But men also 
can find employment for tedious hours, when the 
period of youthful activity has passed. In sum- 
mer, gardening is a never-failing resource both to 
men and women ; and genial qualities of character 
are developed by imparting to others the flowers, 
fruit, and vegetables we have had the pleasure of 
raising. The Rev. Dr. Prince of Salem was al- 
ways busy, in his old age, making telescopes, 
kaleidoscopes, and a variety of toys for scientific 
illustrations, with which he instructed and enter- 
tained the young people who visited him. My old 
father amused himself, and benefited others, by 
making bird-houses for children, and clothes-horses 
and towel-stands for all the girls of his acquaint- 
ance who were going to housekeeping. I knew 
an old blind man, who passed his winter evenings 
pleasantly weaving mats from corn-husks, while 



MORAL HINTS. 175 

another old man read to him. A lathe is a val- 
uable resource for elderly people ; and this em- 
ployment for mind and hands may also exercise 
the moral qualities, as it admits of affording pleas- 
ure to family and friends by innumerable neatly- 
turned little articles. The value of occupation is 
threefold to elderly people, if usefulness is combined 
with exercise ; for in that way the machinery of 
body, mind, and heart may all be kept from 
rusting. 

A sister of the celebrated John Wilkes, a wise 
and kindly old lady, who resided in Boston a very 
long time ago, was accustomed to say, " The true 
secret of happiness is always to have a little less 
time than one wants, and a little more money than 
one needs." There is much wisdom in the saying, 
but I think it might be improved by adding, that 
the money should be of one's own earning. 

After life has passed its maturity, great care 
should be taken not to become indifferent to the 
affairs of the world. It is salutary, both for mind 
and heart, to take an interest in some of the great 
questions of the age ; whether it be slavery or war, 
or intemperance, or the elevation of women, or 
righting the wrongs of the Indians, or the progress 
of education, or the regulation of prisons, or im- 
provements in architecture, or investigation into 
the natural sciences, from which proceed results so 
important to the daily comfort and occupations of 
mankind. It is for each one to choose his object of 



176 MORAL HINTS. 

especial interest ; but it should be remembered that 
no person has a right to be entirely indifferent con- 
cerning questions involving great moral principles. 
Care should be taken that the daily social influence 
which every man and woman exerts, more or less, 
should be employed in the right direction. A con- 
scientious man feels himself in some degree respon- 
sible for the evil he does not seek to prevent. In 
the Rev. John "Wesley's journal for self-examina- 
tion this suggestive question occurs : " Have I 
embraced every probable opportunity of doing 
good, and of preventing, removing, or lessening 
evil ? ' Such habits of mind tend greatly to the 
improvement of our own characters, while at the 
same time they may help to improve the character 
and condition of others. Nothing is more healthy 
for the soul than to go out of ourselves, and stay 
out of ourselves. We thus avoid brooding over 
our own bodily pains, our mental deficiencies, or 
past moral shortcomings ; we forget to notice 
whether others neglect us, or not ; whether they 
duly appreciate us, or not ; whether their advan- 
tages are superior to ours, or not. He who leads 
a true, active, and useful life has no time for 
such corrosive thoughts. All self-consciousness 
indicates disease. We never think about our 
stomachs till we have dyspepsia. The moral dis- 
eases which induce self-consciousness are worse 
than the physical, both in their origin and their 
results. To indulge in repinings over our own 



MORAL HINTS. 177 

deficiencies, compared with others, while it indi- 
cates the baneful presence of envy, prevents our 
making the best use of such endowments as we 
have. If we are conscious of our merits, bodily or 
mental, it takes away half their value. There is 
selfishness even in anxiety whether we shall go to 
heaven or not, or whether our souls are immortal 
or not. A continual preparation for eternal pro- 
gress is the wisest and the happiest way to live here. 
If we daily strive to make ourselves fit companions 
for angels, we shall be in constant readiness for a 
better world, while we make sure of enjoying some 
degree of heaven upon this earth ; and, what is still 
better, of helping to make it a paradise for others. 

Perhaps there is no error of human nature pro- 
ductive of so much unhappiness as the indulgence 
of temper. Often everything in a household is 
made to go wrong through the entire day, because 
one member of the family rises in a fretful mood. 
An outburst of anger brings a cloud of gloom over 
the domestic atmosphere, which is not easily dissi- 
pated. Strenuous efforts should be made to guard 
against this, especially by the old ; who, as they 
lose external attractions, should strive all the more 
earnestly to attain that internal beauty which is of 
infinitely more value. And here, again, the ques- 
tion may be asked, " What am I to do, if I have 
naturally a hasty or fretful temper, and if those 
around me act in a manner to provoke it ? " In 
the first place, strong self-constraint may be made 

8* L 



178 MORAL HINTS. 

to become a habit ; and this, though very difficult 
in many cases, is possible to all. People of the 
most ungoverned tempers will often become sud- 
denly calm and courteous when a stranger enters ; 
and they can control their habitual outbreaks, when 
they are before people whose good opinion they are 
particularly desirous to obtain or preserve. Con- 
straint may be made more easy by leaving the 
presence of those with whom you are tempted to 
jangle. Go out into the open air ; feed animals ; 
gather flowers or fruit for the very person you 
were tempted to annoy. By thus opening a door 
for devils to walk out of your soul, angels will be 
sure to walk in. If circumstances prevent your 
doing anything of this kind, you can retire to your 
own chamber for a while, and there wrestle for vic- 
tory over your evil mood. If necessary avocations 
render this impossible, time can at least be snatched 
for a brief and earnest prayer for help in overcom- 
ing your besetting sin ; and prayer is a golden 
gate, through which angels are wont to enter. 

" And the lady prayed in heaviness, 

That looked not for relief ; 

But slowly did her succor come, 

And a patience to her grief. 

" O, there is never sorrow of heart 
That shall lack a timely end, 
If but to God we turn and ask 
Of Him to be our friend." 

There is a reason for governing our tempers which 



MORAL HINTS. 179 

is still more important than our own happiness, or 
even the happiness of others. I allude to its in- 
fluence on the characters of those around us ; an 
influence which may mar their whole destiny here, 
and perhaps hinder their progress hereafter. None 
of us are sufficiently careful to keep pure and 
wholesome the spiritual atmosphere which sur- 
rounds every human being, and which must be 
more or less inhaled by the spiritual lungs of all 
those with whom he enters into the various rela- 
tions of life. Jean Paul said : " Newton, who 
uncovered his head whenever the name of God 
was pronounced, thus became, without words, a 
teacher of religion to children." Many a girl has 
formed an injudicious marriage, in consequence of 
hearing sneering remarks, or vulgar jokes, about 
" old maids." Poisonous prejudices against na- 
tions, races, sects, and classes are often instilled 
by thoughtless incidental expressions. There is 
education for evil in the very words u Nigger," 
*« Paddy," " old Jew," " old maid," &c. It is re- 
corded of the Rabbi Sera, that when he was asked 
how he had attained to such a serene and lovable 
old age, he replied : "I have never rejoiced at any 
evil which happened to my neighbor ; and I never 
called any man by a nickname given to him in 
derision or sport." 

False ideas with regard to the importance of 
wealth and rank are very generally, though often 
unconsciously, inculcated by modes of speech, or 



180 MORAL HINTS. 

habits of action. To treat mere wealth with 
more respect than honest poverty ; to speak more 
deferentially of a man whose only claim is a dis- 
tinguished ancestry, than you do of the faithful 
laborer who ditches your meadows, is a slow but 
sure process of education, which sermons and cate- 
chisms will never be able entirely to undo. It is' 
important to realize fully that all merely conven- 
tional distinctions are false and illusory ; that only 
worth and usefulness can really ennoble man or 
woman. If we look at the subject from a rational 
point of view, the artificial classifications of society 
appear even in a ludicrous light. It would be 
considered a shocking violation of etiquette for 
the baronet's lady to call upon the queen. The 
wife of the wealthy banker, or merchant, cannot 
be admitted to the baronet's social circle. The 
intelligent mechanic and prosperous farmer is ex- 
cluded from the merchant's parlor. The farmer 
and mechanic would think they let themselves 
down by inviting a worthy day-laborer to their 
parties. And the day-laborer, though he were an 
ignoramus and a drunkard, would feel authorized 
to treat with contempt any intelligent and excel- 
lent man whose complexion happened to be black 
or brown. I once knew a grocer's wife, who, with 
infinite condescension of manner, said to the wife 
of her neighbor the cobbler, " Why don't you 
come in to see me sometimes ? You need n't 
keep away because my house is carpeted all over." 



MORAL HINTS. 181 

Hannah More tells us that the Duchess of Glouces- 
ter, wishing to circulate some tracts and verses, 
requested one of her ladies in waiting to stop a 
woman who was wheeling a barrow of oranges 
past the window, and ask her if she would take 
some ballads to sell. " No indeed ! " replied the 
orange-woman, with an air of offended dignity. 
" I don't do anything so mean as that. I don't 
even sell apples." The Duchess was much amused 
by her ideas of rank ; but they were in fact no 
more absurd than her own. It is the same mean, 
selfish spirit which manifests itself through all 
these gradations. External rank belongs to the 
" phantom dynasties "; and if we wish our chil- 
dren to enjoy sound moral health, we should be 
careful not to teach any deference for it, either in 
our words or our habits. Mrs. Gaskell, in her 
sketch of a very conservative and prejudiced Eng- 
lish gentlewoman, " one of the olden time," gives 
a lovely touch to the picture, indicating that true 
natural refinement was not stifled by the prejudices 
of rank. Lady Ludlow had, with patronizing 
kindness, invited several of her social inferiors to 
tea. Among them was the wife of a rich baker, 
who, being unaccustomed to the etiquette of such 
company, spread a silk handkerchief in her lap, 
when she took a piece of cake ; whereupon some 
of the curate's wives began to titter, in order to 
show that they knew polite manners better than 
she did. Lady Ludlow, perceiving this, imme- 



182 MORAL HINTS. 

diately spread her own handkerchief in her lap ; 
and when the baker's wife went to the fireplace 
to shake out her crumbs, my lady did the same. 
This silent rebuke was sufficient to prevent any 
further rudeness to the unsophisticated wife of the 
baker. No elaborate rules are necessary to teach 
us true natural politeness. We need only remem- 
ber two short texts of Scripture : " Do unto others 
as ye would that they should do unto you." 
" God is your Father, and all ye are brethren." 

Elderly people are apt to think that their years 
exempt them from paying so much attention to 
good manners as the. young are required to do. 
On the contrary, they ought to be more careful in 
their deportment and conversation, because their 
influence is greater. Impure words or stories 
repeated by parents or grandparents may make 
indelible stains on the minds of their descendants, 
and perhaps give a sensual direction to their char- 
acters through life. No story, however funny, 
should ever be told, if it will leave in the memory 
unclean associations, either physically or morally. 

A love of gossiping about other people's affairs 
is apt to grow upon those who have retired from 
the active pursuits of life ; and this is one among 
many reasons why it is best to keep constantly 
occupied. A great deal of trouble is made in 
neighborhoods, from no malicious motives, but 
from the mere excitement of telling news, and the 
temporary importance derived therefrom. Most 



MORAL HINTS. 183 

village gossip, when sifted down, amounts to the 
little school-girl's definition. Being asked what it 
was to bear false witness against thy neighbor, she 
replied : " It 's when nobody don't do nothing, and 
somebody goes and tells of it." One of the best 
and most genial of the Boston merchants, when 
he heard people discussing themes of scandal, was 
accustomed to interrupt them, by saying : " Don't 
talk any more about it ! Perhaps they did n't do 
it ; and may be they could n't help it." For my- 
self, I deem it the greatest unkindness to be told 
of anything said against me. I may prevent its 
exciting resentment in my mind ; but the con- 
sciousness of not being liked unavoidably disturbs 
my relations with the person implicated. There 
is no better safeguard against the injurious habit 
of gossiping, than the being interested in princi- 
ples and occupations ; if you have these to employ 
your mind, you will have no inclination to talk 
about matters merely personal. 

When we reflect that life is so full of neglected 
little opportunities to improve ourselves and others, 
we shall feel that there is no need of aspiring after 
great occasions to do good. 

" The trivial round, the common task, 
Would furnish all we need to ask ; 
Room to deny ourselves, — a road 
To bring us daily nearer God." 




THE BOYS. 

WRITTEN FOR A MEETING OF COLLEGE CLASSMATES. 

By OLIVER W. HOLMES. 

HAS there any old fellow got mixed with the boys ? 
If there has, take him out, without making a 

noise ! 

Hang the Almanac's cheat, and the Catalogue's spite ! 
Old Time is a liar ! We 're twenty to-night. 

We 're twenty ! We 're twenty ! Who says we are 

more ? 
He 's tipsy, young jackanapes ! Show him the door ! 
" Gray temples at twenty ? " Yes ! white, if we please ; 
Where the snow-flakes fall thickest, there 's nothing 

can freeze. 

Was it snowing I spoke of? Excuse the mistake ! 
Look close, — you will see not a sign of a flake ; 
We want some new garlands for those we have shed, — 
And these are white roses in place of the red. 

We 've a trick, we young fellows, you may have been 

told, 
Of talking (in public) as if we were old ; — 
That boy we call "Doctor," and this we call "Judge"; — ■ 
It 's a neat little fiction, — of course, it 's all fudge. 



THE BOYS. 185 

That fellow 's " the Speaker," — the one on the right ; 
" Mr. Mayor," my young one, how are you to-night ? 
That 's our " Member of Congress," we say when we 

chaff; 
There 's the " Reverend " What 's his name ? Don't 

make me laugh ! 



Yes, we 're boys, — always playing with tongue or with 

pen,— 
And I sometimes have asked, Shall we ever be men ? 
Shall we always be youthful, and laughing and gay, 
Till the last dear companion drops smiling away ? 

Then here 's to our boyhood, its gold and its gray ! 
The stars of its Winter, the dews of its May ! 
And when we have done with our life-lasting toys, 
Dear Father, take care of thy children, the Boys ! 



ODE OF ANACREON. 

TRANSLATED FROM THE GREEK. 

I love a mellow, cheerful sage, 
Whose feelings are unchilled by age ; 
I love a youth who dances well 
To music of the sounding shell ; 
But when a man of years, like me, 
Joins with the dancers playfully, 
Though age in silvery hair appears, 
His heart is young, despite of years. 



MYSTERIOUSNESS OF LIFE. 



FROM MOUNTFORD S EUTHANASY. 




BOUT the world to come, it ought not 
to be as though we did not know surely, 
because we do not know much. From 
the nearest star, our earth, if it is seen, 
looks hardly anything at all. It shines, or rather 
it twinkles, and that is all. To them afar off, this 
earth is only a shining point. But to us who live 
in it, it is wide and various. It is sea and land ; it 
is Europe, Asia, Africa, and America ; it is the 
lair of the lion, and the pasture of the ox, and the 
pathway of the worm, and the support of the robin ; 
it is what has day and night in it ; it is what cus- 
toms and languages obtain in ; it is many coun- 
tries ; it is the habitation of a thousand million 
men ; and it is our home. All this the world is 
to us; though, looked at from one of the stars, it is 
only a something that twinkles in the distance. It 
is seen only as a few intermittent rays of light ; 
though, to us who live in it, it is hill and valley, 



MYSTERIOUSNESS OF LIFE. 187 

and land and water, and many thousands of miles 
wide. So that if the future world is a star of 
guidance for us, it is enough ; because it is not for 
us to know, but to believe, that it will prove our 
dear home. 

• • • • • • 

We live mortal lives for immortal good. And 
really this world is so mysterious, that there is not 
one of its commonest ways but is perhaps sublimer 
to walk on than we at all think. At night, when 
we walk about and see at all, it is by the light of 
other worlds ; though we do not often think of this. 
It is the same in life. There is many a matter 
concerning us that is little thought of, but which is 
ours, as it were, from out of the infinite. Yes, 
our lives are to be felt as being very great, even in 
their nothingness. Even our mortal lives are as 
wonderful as immortality. Is the next life a mys- 
tery ? So it is. But then how mysterious even 
now life is. Food is not all that a man lives by. 
There is some way by which food has to turn to 
strength in him ; and that way is something else 
than his own will. I am hungry, I sit down to a 
meal, and I enjoy it. And the next day, from 
what I ate and drank for my pleasure, there is 
blood in my veins, and moisture on my skin, and 
new flesh making in all my limbs. And this is 
not my doing or willing ; for I do not even know 
how my nails grow from under the skin of my 
fingers. I can well believe in my being to live 



188 MYSTERIOUSNESS OF LIFE. 

hereafter. How, indeed, I am to live, I do not 
know ; but, then, neither do I know how I do live 
now. When I am asleep, my lungs keep breathing, 
my heart keeps beating, my stomach keeps digest- 
ing, and my whole body keeps making anew. 
And in the morning, when I look in the glass, 
it is as though I see myself a new creature ; and 
really, for the wonder of it, it is all the same as 
though another body had grown about me in my 
sleep. This living from day to day is aston- 
ishing, when it is thought of ; and 
we are let feel the miracle of it, 
so, perhaps, that our being 
to live again may not 
be too wonderful 
for our be- 
lief. 

? 



Though there be storm and turbulence on this 
earth, one would rise but little way, through the 
blackened air, before he would come to a region 
of calm and peace, where the stars shine unob- 
structed, and where there is no storm. And a 
little above our cloud, a little higher than our 
darkness, a little beyond our storm, is God's upper 
region of tranquil peace and calm. And when 
we have had the discipline of winter here, it will 

be possible for us to have eternal summer there. 

Henry Waed Beecher. 



EXTRACTS FROM 

THE GRANDxMOTHER'S APOLOGY. 

By ALFRED TENNYSON. 

AND Willy, my eldest born, is gone you say, little 
Ann? 
Ruddy and white and strong on his legs, he looks like a 

man. 
" Here 's a leg for a babe of a week ! " says doctor ; and 

he would be bound 
There was not his like that year in twenty parishes 
round. 

Strong of his hands, and strong on his legs, but still of 

his tongue! 
I ought to have gone before him ; I wonder he went so 

young. 
I cannot cry for him, Annie ; I have not long to stay ; 
Perhaps I shall see him the sooner, for he lived far 

away. 

Why do you look at me, Annie ? you think I am hard 

and cold; 
But all my children have gone before me, I am so old i 



190 THE GRANDMOTHER'S APOLOGY. 

I cannot weep for Willy, nor can I weep for the rest ; 
Only at your age, Annie, I could have wept with the 
best. 

The first child that ever I bore was dead before he was 

born: 
Shadow and shine is life, little Annie, flower and thorn. 
I had not wept, little Annie, not since I had been a 

wife; 
But I wept like a child, that day; for the babe had 

fought for his life. 



o 



His dear little face was troubled, as if with anger or 
pain; 

I looked at the still little body, — his trouble had all 
been in vain. 

For Willy I cannot weep ; I shall see him another 
morn ; 

But I wept like a child for the child that was dead be- 
fore he was born. 

But he cheered me, my good man, for he seldom said 

me nay: 
Kind, like a man, was he ; like a man, too, would have 

his way; 
Never jealous, — not he : we had many a happy year : 
And he died, and I could not weep, — my own time 

seemed so near. 

But I wished it had been God's will that I, too, then 

could have died: 

I began to be tired a little, and fain had slept at his 
side; 



THE GRANDMOTHERS APOLOGY. 191 

And that was ten years back, or more, if I don't for- 
get: 

But as for the children, Annie, they are all about me 
yet. 

Pattering over the boards, my Annie, who left me at 

two; 
Patter she goes, my own little Annie, — an Annie like 

you. 
Pattering over the boards, she comes and goes at her 

will, 
While Harry is in the five-acre and Charlie ploughing 

the hill. 

And Harry and Charlie, I hear them, too, — they sing 

to their team ; 
Often they come to the door in a pleasant kind of 

dream. 
They come and sit by my chair, they hover about my 

bed: 
I am not always certain if they be alive or dead. 

And yet I know for a truth, there 's none of them left 

alive ; 
For Harry went at sixty, your father at sixty-five ; 
And Willy, my eldest born, at nigh threescore and 

ten; 
I knew them all as babies, and now they are elderly 

men. 

For mine is a time of peace ; it is not often I grieve ; 
I am oftener sitting at home in my father's farm at 
eve; 



192 THE GRANDMOTHER'S APOLOGY. 

And the neighbors come and laugh and gossip, and so 

do I; 
I find myself often laughing at things that have long 

gone by. 

To be sure the preacher says our sins should make us 

sad; 
But mine is a time of peace, and there is grace to be 

had; 
And God, not man, is the Judge of us all when life shall 

cease ; 
And in this Book, little Annie, the message is one of 

peace. 

And age is a time of peace, so it be free from pain ; 
And happy has been my life, but I would not live it 

again. 
I seem to be tired a little, that 's all, and long for rest ; 
Only at your age, Annie, I could have wept with the 

best. 

So Willy has gone, — my beauty, my eldest born, my 

flower ; 
But how can I weep for Willy ? he has but gone for an 

hour, — 
Gone for a minute, my son, from this room into the 

next; 
I too shall go in a minute. What time have I to be 

vext? 



THE ANCIENT MAN. 



TRANSLATED BY L. O. FROM THE GERMAN OF JEAN PAUL RICH- 
TER'S MEMOIR OF FIBEL, AUTHOR OF THE BIENENRODA SPELL- 
ING-BOOK. 

9 

" He is insensibly subdued 
To settled quiet. He is one by whom 
All effort seems forgotten ; one to whom 
Long patience hath such mild composure given, 
That patience now doth seem a thing of which 
He hath no need. He is by Nature led 
To peace so perfect, that the young behold 
With envy what the old man hardly feels." 

Wordsworth. 



AaaI/>^ 



m 



^) HE stream of Fibel's history having 



vanished under ground, like a second 
river Rhone, I was obliged to explore 
fe=^§||^$. where story or stream again burst 
forth, and for this purpose I questioned every one. 
I was told that no one could better inform me than 
an exceedingly aged man, more than a hundred 
and twenty-five years old, who lived a few miles 
from the village of Bienenroda, and who, having 
been young at the same time with Fibel, must 

9 M 



194 THE ANCIENT MAN. 

know all about him. The prospect of shakinor 
hands with the very oldest man living on the face 
of the earth enraptured me. I said to myself that 
a most novel and peculiar sensation must be excited 
by having a whole past century before you, bodily 
present, compact and alive, in the century now 
passing ; by holding, hand to hand, a man of the 
age of the antediluvians, over whose head so many 
entire generations of young mornings and old even- 
ings have fled, and before whom one stands, in fact, 
as neither young nor old ; to listen to a human 
spirit, outlandish, behind the time, almost mysteri- 
ously awful ; sole survivor of the thousand gray, 
cold sleepers, coevals of his own remote, hoary 
age ; standing as sentinel before the ancient dead, 
looking coldly and strangely on life's silly novel- 
ties ; finding in the present no cooling for his in- 
born spirit-thirst, no more enchanting yesterdays 
or to-morrows, but only the day-before-yesterday 
of youth, and the day-after- to-morrow of death. 
It may consequently be imagined that so very old 
a man would speak only of /his farthest past, of 
his early day-dawn, which, of course, in the long 
evening of his protracted day, must now be blend- 
ing with his midnight. On the other hand, that 
one like myself would not feel particularly younger 
before such a millionnaire of hours, as the Bienen- 
roda Patriarch must be ; and that his presence 
must make one feel more conscious of death than 
of immortality. A very aged man is a more pow- 



THE ANCIENT MAN 195 

erful memento than a grave ; for the older a grave 
is, the farther we look back to the succession of 
young persons who have mouldered in it ; some- 
times a maiden is concealed in an ancient grave ; 
but an ancient dwindled body hides only an im- 
prisoned spirit. 

An opportunity for visiting the Patriarch was 
presented by a return coach-and-six, belonging to 
a count, on which I was admitted to a seat with 
the coachman. Just before arriving at Bienen- 
roda, he pointed with his whip toward an orchard, 
tuneful with song, and said, " There sits the old 
man with his little animals around him." I sprang 
from the noble equipage and went toward him. I 
ventured to expect that the Count's six horses 
would give me, before the old man, the appear- 
ance of a person of rank, apart from the simpli- 
city of my dress, whereby princes and heroes are 
wont to distinguish themselves from their tinselled 
lackeys. I w r as, therefore, a little surprised that 
the old man kept on playing with his pet hare, 
not even checking the barking of his poodle, as if 
counts were his daily bread, until, at last, he lifted 
his oil-cloth hat from his head., A buttoned over- 
coat, which gave room to see his vest, a long pair 
of knit over-alls, which were, in fact, enormous 
stockings, and a neckerchief, which hung down 
to his bosom, made his dress look modern enough. 
His time-worn frame was far more peculiar. The 
inner part of the eye, which is black in childhood, 



196 THE ANCIENT MAN. 

was quite white ; his tallness, more than his years, 
seemed to bow him over into an arch ; the out- 
turned point of his chin gave to his speech the 
appearance of mumbling ; yet the expression of 
his countenance was lively, his eyes bright, his 
jaws full of white teeth, and his head covered with 
light hair. 

I began by saying : " I came here solely on your 
account to see a man for whom there can assuredlv 
be little new under the sun, though he himself is 
something very new under it. You are now strict- 
ly in your five and twenties ; a man in your best 
years ; since after a century a new reckoning com- 
mences. For myself, I confess that after once 
clambering over the century terminus, or church- 
wall of a hundred years, I should neither know 
how old I was, nor whether I was myself. I 
should begin fresh and free, just as the world's 
history has often done, counting again from the 
year one, in the middle of a thousand years. Yet 
why can not a man live to be as old as is many a 
giant tree of India still standing ? It is well to 
question very old people concerning the methods 
by which they have prolonged their lives. How 
do you account for it, dear old sir ? " 

I was beginning to be vexed at the good man's 
silence, when he softly replied : " Some suppose it 
is because I have always been cheerful ; because I 
have adopted the maxim, ' Never sad, ever glad ' ; 
but I ascribe it wholly to our dear Lord God ; since 



THE ANCIENT MAN. 197 

the animals, which here surround us, though never 
sad, but happy for the most part, by no means so 
frequently exceed the usual boundary of their life, 
as does man. He exhibits an imao;e of the eternal 
God, even in the length of his duration." 

Such words concerning God, uttered by a tongue 
one hundred and twenty-five years old, had great 
weight and consolation ; and I at once felt their 
beautiful attraction. On mentioning animals, the 
old man turned again to his own ; and, as though 
indifferent to him who had come in a coach-and- 
six, he began again to play with his menagerie, the 
hare, the spaniel, the silky poodle, the starling, and 
a couple of turtle-doves on his bosom ; a pleasant 
bee-colony in the orchard also gave heed to him ; 
with one whistle he sent the bees away,, and with 
another summoned them into the ring of crea- 
tures, which surrounded him like a court-circle. 

At last, he said : " No one need be surprised 
that a very old man, who has forgotten everything, 
and whom no one but the dear God knows or cares 
for, should give himself wholly to the dear ani- 
mals. To whom can such an old man be of much 
use ? I wander about in the villages, as in cities, 
wholly strange. If I see children, they come be- 
fore me like my own remote childhood. If I meet 
old men, they seem like my past hoary years. I 
do not quite know where I now belong. I hang 
between heaven and earth. Yet God ever looks 
upon me bright and lovingly, with his two eyes, 



198 THE ANCIENT MAN. 

the sun and the moon. Moreover, animals lead 
into no sin, but rather to devotion. When my 
turtle-doves brood over their young and feed them, 
it seems to me just as if I saw God himself doing 
a great deal ; for they derive their love and in- 
stinct toward their young, as a gift from him." 

The old man became silent, and looked pen- 
sively before him, as was his wont. A ringing of 
christening bells sounded from Bienenroda among 
the trees in the garden. Pie wept a little. I 
know not how I could have been so simple, after 
the beautiful words he had uttered, as to have mis- 
taken his tears for a sign of weakness in his eyes. 
" I do not hear well, on account of my great age," 
said he ; " and it seems to me as if the baptismal 
bell from the distant sanctuary sounded up here 
very faintly. The old years of my childhood, 
more than a hundred years ago, ascend from the 
ancient depths of time, and gaze on me in wonder, 
while I and they know not whether we ought to 
weep or laugh." Then, addressing his silky 
poodle, he called out, " Ho ! ho ! come here old 
fellow ! ' 

The allusion to his childhood brought me to the 
purpose of my visit. " Excellent sir," said I, u I 
am preparing the biography of the deceased Master 
Gotthelf Fibel, author of the famous Spelling- 
Book ; and all I now need to complete it is the 
account of his death." The old man smiled, and 
made a low bow. I continued, u No one is more 



THE ANCIENT MAN. 199 

likely to -know the particulars of his decease than 
yourself ; and you are the only person who can 
enrich me with the rare traits of his childhood ; 
because every incident inscribed on a child's brain 
grows deeper with years, like names cut into a 
gourd, while later inscriptions disappear. Tell 
me, I pray you, all that you know concerning the 
departed man ; for I am to publish his Life at the 
Michaelmas Fair." 

He murmured, "Excellent genius; scholar; 
man of letters ; author most famous ; these and 
other fine titles I learned by heart and applied to 
myself, while I was that vain, blinded Fibel, who 
wrote and published the ordinary Spelling-Book in 
question." 

So then, this old man was the blessed Fibel 
himself! A hundred and twenty-five notes of 
admiration, ay, eighteen hundred and eleven 
notes in a row, would but feebly express my as- 
tonishment. 

[Here follows a long conversation concerning 
Fibel, after which the narrative continues as fol- 
lows : — ] 

The old man went into his little garden-house, 
and I followed him. He whistled, and instantly 
his black squirrel came down from a tree, whither 
it had gone more for pleasure than for food. 
Nightingales, thrushes, starlings, and other birds, 
flew back into the open window from the tops of 
the trees. A bulfinch, whose color had been 



200 THE ANCIENT MAN. 

changed by age from red to black, strutted about 
the room, uttering droll sounds, which it could not 
make distinct. The hare pattered about in the 
twilight, sometimes on his hind feet, sometimes on 
all fours. Every dog in the house bounded for- 
ward in glad, loving, human glee. But the most 
joyful of all was the poodle ; for he knew he was 
to have a box with compartments fastened to his 
neck, containing a list of the articles wanted for 
supper, which it was his business to bring from the 
inn in Bienenroda. He was Fibel's victualler, or 
provision-wagon. Children, who ran back and 
forth, were the only other ones who ministered to 
his wants. 

In allusion to his pets, he said : " We ought to 
assist the circumscribed faculties of animals, by 
educating them, as far as we can, since we stand 
toward them, in a certain degree, as their Lord 
God ; and we ought to train them to good morals, 
too ; for very possibly they may continue to live 
after death. God and the animals are always 
good ; but not so with man." 

Aged men impart spiritual things, as they give 
material things, with a shaking hand, which drops 
half. In the effort to gather up his recollections, 
he permitted me to quicken his memory with my 
own ; and thu& I obtained a connected account of 
some particulars in his experience. He said he 
might have been about a hundred years old, when 
he cut a new set of teeth, the pain of which dis- 



THE ANCIENT MAN 201 

turbed him with wild dreams. One night he 
seemed to be holding in his hands a large sieve, 
and it was his task to pull the meshes apart, one 
by one. The close net-work, and the fastening to 
the wooden rim, gave him indescribable trouble. 
But as his dream went on, he seemed to hold in 
his hand the great bright sun, which flamed up 
into his face. He woke with a new-born feeling, 
and slumbered again, as if on waving tulips. He 
dreamed again that he was a hundred years old, 
and that he died as an innocent yearling child, 
without any of the sin or woe of earth ; that he 
found his parents on high, who brought before him 
a long procession of his children, who had re- 
mained invisible to him while he was in this world, 
because they were transparent, like the angels. 
He rose from his bed with new teeth and new 
ideas. The old Fibel was consumed, and a true 
Phoenix stood in his place, sunning its colored 
wings. He had risen glorified out of no other 
grave than his own body. The w 7 orld retreated ; 
heaven came down. 

When he had related these things, he at once 
bade me good night. Without waiting for the 
return of his ministering poodle, and with hands 
folded for prayer, he showed me the road. I with- 
drew, but I rambled a long time round the orchard, 
which had sprung entirely from seed of his own 
planting. Indeed he seldom ate a cherry without 

smuggling the stone and burying it in the ground 

9* 



202 THE ANCIENT MAN. 

for a resurrection. This habit often annoyed the 
neighboring peasants, who did not want high 
things growing on their boundaries. " But," said 
he, " I cannot destroy a fruit-stone. If the peas- 
ants pull up the tree it produces, it will still have 
lived a little while, and die as a child dies." 

While loitering in the orchard, I heard an even- 
ing hymn played and sung. I returned near 
Fibel's window, and saw him slowly turning a 
hand-organ, and accompanying the tune by softly 
singing an evening hymn. This organ, aided by 
his fragment of a voice, sufficed, in its monotonous 
uniformity, for his domestic devotion. I went 
away repeating the song. 

Beautiful was the orchard when I returned the 
next morning. And the hoar-frost of age seemed 
thawed and fluid, and to glisten only as morning 
dew on Fibel's after-blossom. The affection of 
his animals toward him rendered the morning still 
more beautiful, in an orchard every tree of which 
had for its mother the stone of some fruit that he 
had enjoyed. His animals were an inheritance 
from his parents ; though, of course they were the 
great, great, great grandchildren of those which 
had belonged to them. The trees were full of 
brooding birds, and by a slight whistle he could 
lure down to his shoulders this tame posterity of 
his father's sino;ino;-school. It was refreshing to 
the heart to see how quickly the tender flutterers 
surrounded him. 



THE ANCIENT MAN. 203 

With the infantine satisfaction of a gray-headed 
child, he was accustomed to hang up on sticks, or 
in the trees, wherever the rays of the sun could 
best shine upon them, little balls of colored glass ; 
and he took indescribable delight in this accordion 
of silver, gold, and jewel hues. These parti- 
colored sun-balls, varying the green with many 
flaming tints, were like crystal tulip-beds. Some 
of the red ones seemed like ripe apples among the 
branches. But what charmed the old man most 
were reflections of the landscape from these little 
world-spheres. They resembled the moving pros- 
pects shadowed forth in a diminishing mirror. 
" Ah," said he, " when I contemplate the colors 
produced by the sunshine, which God gives to this 
dark world, it seems to me as if I had departed, 
and were already with God. And yet, since He 
is in us, we are always with God." 

I asked him how it happened that, at his age, he 
spoke German almost purer than that used even 
by our best writers. Counting his birth from the 
end of his century [the new birth described in his 
dream], he replied : " I was somewhere about two 
years old, when I happened to hear a holy, spir- 
itual minister, who spoke German with such an 
angel tongue, that he would not have needed a 
better in heaven. I heard him every Sabbath 
during several years." He could not tell me the 
preacher's name, but he vividly described his man- 
ner in the pulpit. He told how he spoke with no 



204 THE ANCIENT MAN. 

superfluity of words, airs, or gestures ; how he 
uttered, in mild tones, things the most beautiful 
and forcible ; how, like the Apostle John, with his 
resting-place close to heaven, this man spoke to 
the world, laying his hands calmly on the pulpit- 
desk, as an arm-case ; how his every tone was a 
heart, and his every look a blessing ; how the 
energy of this disciple of Christ was embedded in 
love, as the firm diamond is encased in ductile 
gold ; how the pulpit was to him a Mount Tabor, 
whereon he transfigured both himself and his 
hearers ; and how, of all clergymen, he best per- 
formed that which is the most difficult, — the 
praying worthily. 

My feelings grew constantly warmer toward this 
time-worn man, while I did not require a full 
return of affection from him any more than I 
should from a little child. But I remembered that 
I ought not to disturb the evening of his days with 
things of the world, and that I ought to depart. 
I w r ould have him preserve undisturbed that sub- 
lime position of old age, where man lives, as it 
were, at the pole ; where no star rises or sets ; 
where the whole firmament is motionless and clear, 
while the Pole-Star of another world shines fixedly 
overhead. I therefore said to him, that I would 
return in the evening, and take my leave. To my 
surprise, he replied, that perhaps he should himself 
take leave of the whole world at evening, and that 
he wished not to be disturbed when dying. He 



THE ANCIENT MAN. 205 

said that he should that evening read to the end 
of the Revelation of St. John, and perhaps it 
might be the end with him also. I ought to have 
mentioned previously that he read continually, and 
read nothing but the Bible, regularly through from 
the beginning to the end ; and he had a fixed im- 
pression that he should depart on concluding the 
twentieth and twenty-first verses of the twenty- 
second chapter of the Revelation of John : " He 
which testifieth of these things saith, Surely I come 
quickly : Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. 
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you 
all. Amen." In consequence of this belief, he 
was in the habit of reading the last books of the 
Bible faster. 

Little as I believed in so sudden a withering of 
his protracted after-blossom, I obeyed his latest- 
formed wish. Whenever a right wish is expressed 
by any man, we should do well to remember that 
it may be his last. I took my leave, requesting 
him to intrust me with his testamentarv commis- 
sions for the village. He said they had been taken 
charge of long ago, and the children knew them. 
He cut a twig from a Christmas-tree, coeval with 
his childhood, and presented me with it as a keep- 
sake. 

In the beautiful summer evening, I could not re- 
frain from stealthily approaching the house, through 
the orchard, to ascertain whether the good old man 
had ended his Bible and his life together. On the 



206 THE ANCIENT MAN. 

way, I found the torn envelope of a letter sealed 
with a black seal, and over me the white storks 
were speeding their way to a warmer country. I 
was not much encouraged when I heard all the 
birds singing in his orchard ; for their ancestors 
had done the same when his father died. A tow- 
ering cloud, full of the latest twilight, spread itself 
before my short-sighted vision, like a far-off, bloom- 
ing, foreign landscape ; and I could not compre- 
hend how it was that I had never before noticed 
this strange-looking, reddish land ; so much the 
more easily did it occur to me that this might be 
his Orient, whither God was leading the weary 
one. I had become so confused, as actually to 
mistake red bean-blossoms for a bit of fallen sunset. 
Presently, I heard a man singing to the accompa- 
niment of an organ. It was the aged man singing 
his evening hymn : 

" Lord of my life, another day 
Once more hath sped away." 

The birds in the room, and those on the distant 
branches also, chimed in with his song. The bees, 
too, joined in with their humming, as in the warm 
summer evening they dived into the cups of the 
linden-blossoms. My joy kindled into a flame. 
He was alive ! But I would not disturb his holy 
evening. I would let him remain with Him who 
had surrounded him with gifts and with years, and 
not call upon him to think of any man here below. 
I listened to the last verse of his hymn, that I 



THE ANCIENT MAN. 207 

mi^ht be still more certain of the actual continu- 
ance of his life, and then tardily I slipped away. 
To my joy, I still found, in the eternal youth of 
Nature, beautiful references to his lengthened age ; 
from the everlasting rippling of the brook in the 
meadow, to a late swarm of bees, which had settled 
themselves on a linden-tree, probably in the fore- 
noon, before two o'clock, as if, by taking their 
lodging with him, he was to be their bee-father, 
and continue to live. Every star twinkled to me 
a hope. 

I went to the orchard very early in the morn- 
ing, wishing to look upon the aged man in sleep ; 
death's ancient prelude, the warm dream of cold 
death. But he was reading, and had read, in his 
large-printed Bible, far beyond the Deluge, as I 
could see by the engravings. I held it to be a duty 
not to interrupt his solitude long. I told him I 
was going away, and gave him a little farewell 
billet, instead of farewell words. I was much 
moved, though silent. It was not the kind of 
emotion with which we take leave of a friend, or a 
youth, or an old man ; it was like parting from a 
remote stranger-being, who scarcely glances at us 
from the high, cold clouds which hold him between 
the earth and the sun. There is a stillness of soul 
which resembles the stillness of bodies on a frozen 
sea, or on high mountains ; every loud tone is an 
interruption too prosaically harsh, as in the softest 
adagio. Even those words, u for the last time," 



208 THE ANCIENT MAN. 

the old man had long since left behind him. Yet 
he hastily presented to me my favorite flower, a 
blue Spanish vetch, in an earthen pot. This but- 
terfly-flower is the sweeter, inasmuch as it so easily 
exhales its perfume and dies. He said he had not 
yet sung the usual morning-hymn, which followed 
the survival of his death-evening ; and he begged 
me not to take it amiss that he did not accompany 
me, or even once look after me, especially as he 
could not see very well. He then added, almost 
with emotion, " O friend, may you live virtu- 
ously ! We shall meet again, where my departed 
relatives will be present, and also that great 
preacher, whose name I have forgotten. We 
meet again." 

He turned immediately, quite tranquilly, to his 
organ. I parted from him, as from a life. He 
played on his organ beneath the trees, and his face 
was turned toward me ; but to his dim eves I 
knew that I should soon become as a motionless 
cloud. So I remained until he began his morning 
hymn, from old Neander : 

" The Lord still leaves me living, 
I hasten Him to praise ; 
My joyful spirit giving, 
He hears my early lays." 

While he was singing, the birds flew round him ; 
the dogs accustomed to the music, were silent ; 
and it even wafted the swarm of bees into their 
hive. Bowed down as he was by age, his figure 



THE ANCIENT MAN. 209 

was so tall, that from the distance where I stood 
he looked sufficiently erect. I remained until the 
old man had sung the twelfth and last verse of his 
morning hymn : 

" Beady my course to finish, 
And come, God, to Thee ; 
A conscience pure I cherish, 
Till death shall summon me." 



Nothing of God's making can a man love 
rightly, without being the surer of God's loving 
himself; neither the moon, nor the stars, nor a 
rock, nor a tree, nor a flower, nor a bird. Not 
the least grateful of my thanksgivings have been 
hymns that have come to my lips while I have been 
listening to the birds of an evening. Only let us 
love what God loves, and then His love of our- 
selves will feel certain, and the sight of his face 
we shall be sure of ; and immortality, and heaven, 
and the freedom of the universe, will be as easy for 
us to believe in, as a father's giving good gifts to 
his children. — Mountford. 



MILTON'S HYMN OF PATIENCE. 

By ELIZABETH LLOYD HOWELL. 

I AM old and blind ! 
Men point at me as smitten by God's frown ; 
Afflicted, and deserted of my kind, 
Yet I am not cast down. 

I am weak, yet strong ; 
I murmur not, that I no longer see ; 
Poor, old, and helpless, I the more belong, 

Father supreme ! to thee. 

O merciful One ! 
When men are farthest, then thou art most near ; 
When friends pass by, my weaknesses to shun, 

Thy chariot I hear. 

Thy glorious face 
Is leaning towards me, and its holy light 
Shines in upon my lonely dwelling-place ; 

And there is no more night. 

On my bended knees, 
I recognize thy purpose, clearly shown ; 
My vision thou hast dimmed, that I may see 

Thyself, thyself alone. 



MILTON'S HYMN OF PATIENCE. 211 

I have naught to fear ; 
This darkness is the shadow of thy wing ; 
Beneath it I am almost sacred ; here 

Can come no evil thing. 

O, I seem to stand 
Trembling, where foot of mortal ne'er hath been ; 
Wrapped in the radiance from the sinless land, 

"Which eye hath never seen. 

Visions come and go ; 
Shapes of resplendent beauty round me throng ; 
From angel lips I seem to hear the flow 

Of soft and holy song. 

It is nothing now, — 
When heaven is opening on my sightless eyes, 
When airs from paradise refresh my brow, — 

That earth in darkness lies. 

In a purer clime, 
My being fills with rapture ! waves of thought 
Roll in upon my spirit ! strains sublime 

Break over me unsought. 

Give me now my lyre ! 
I feel the stirrings of a gift divine ; 
Within my bosom glows unearthly fire, 

Lit by no skill of mine. 




LETTER FROM AN OLD WOMAN, 
ON HER BIRTHDAY. 

By L. MARIA CHILD. 




OU ask me, dear friend, whether it does 
not make me sad to grow old. I tell 
you frankly it did make me sad for a 
while ; but that time has long since 
past. The name of being old I never dreaded. I 
am not aware that there ever was a time when 
I should have made the slightest objection to hav- 
ing my age proclaimed by the town-crier, if people 
had had any curiosity to know it. But I suppose 
every human being sympathizes with the senti- 
ment expressed by Wordsworth : 

" Life's Autumn past, I stand on Winter's verge, 
And daily lose what I desire to keep." 

The first white streaks in my hair, and the 
spectre of a small black spider floating before my 
eyes, foreboding diminished clearness of vision, 
certainly did induce melancholy reflections. At 



LETTER FROM AN OLD WOMAN. 213 

that period, it made me nervous to think about the 
approaches of old age ; and when young people 
thoughtlessly reminded me of it, they cast a shadow 
over the remainder of the day. It was mournful 
as the monotonous rasping of crickets, which tells 
that " the year is wearing from its prime." I 
dreaded age in the same way that I always dread 
the coming of winter ; because I want to keep the 
light, the warmth, the flowers, and the growth of 
summer. But; after all, when winter comes, I 
soon get used to him, and am obliged to acknowl- 
edge that he is a handsome old fellow, and by no 
means destitute of pleasant qualities. And just 
so it has proved with old age. Now that it has 
come upon me, I find it full of friendly compensa- 
tions for all that it takes away. 

The period of sadness and nervous dread on 
this subject, which I suppose to be a very general 
experience, is of longer or shorter duration, ac- 
cording to habits previously formed. From ob- 
servation, I judge that those whose happiness 
has mainly depended on balls, parties, fashionable 
intercourse, and attentions flattering to vanity, 
usually experience a prolonged and querulous sad- 
ness, as years advance upon them ; because, in the 
nature of things, such enjoyments pass out of 
the reach of the old, when it is too late to form a 
taste for less transient pleasures. The temporary 
depression to which I have alluded soon passed 
from my spirit, and I attribute it largely to the 



214 LETTER FROM AN OLD WOMAN, 

fact that I have always been pleased with very 
simple and accessible things. I always shudder a 
little at the approach of winter ; yet, when it 
comes, the trees, dressed in feathery snow, or pris- 
matic icicles, give me far more enjoyment, than I 
could find in a ball-room full of duchesses, decor- 
ated with marabout-feathers, opals, and diamonds. 
No costly bridal-veil sold in Broadway would in- 
terest me so much as the fairy lace-work which 
frost leaves upon the windows, in an unceasing 
variety of patterns. The air, filled with minute 
snow-stars, falling softly, ever falling, to beautify 
the earth, is to me a far lovelier sight, than would 
have been Prince Esterhazy, who dropped seed- 
pearls from his embroidered coat, as he moved in 
the measured mazes of the dance. 

Speaking of the beautiful phenomenon of snow, 
reminds me how often the question has been asked 
what snow is, and what makes it. I have never 
seen a satisfactory answer ; but I happen to know 
what snow is, because I once saw the process of 
its formation. I was at the house of a Quaker, 
whose neat wife washed in an unfinished back- 
room all winter, that the kitchen might be kept in 
good order. I passed through the wash-room on 
the 16th of December, 1835, a day still remem- 
bered by many for its remarkable intensity of cold. 
Clouds of steam, rising from the tubs and boiling 
kettle, ascended to the ceiling, and fell from thence 
in the form of a miniature snow-storm. Here 



ON HER BIRTHDAY. 215 

was an answer to the question, What is snow ? 
This plainly proved it to be frozen vapor, as ice is 
frozen water. The particles of water, expanded 
by heat, and floating in the air, were arrested in 
their separated state, and congealed in particles. 
It does not snow when the weather is intensely 
cold ; for the lower part of the atmosphere must 
have some degree of warmth, if vapor is floating 
in it. When this vapor ascends, and meets a 
colder stratum of air, it is congealed, and falls 
downward in the form of snow. 

" The snow ! The snow ! The beautiful snow ! " 
How handsome do meadows and fields look in 
their pure, sparkling robe ! I do not deny that 
the winter of the year and the winter of life both 
have intervals of dreariness. The miserere howled 
by stormy winds is not pleasing to the ear, nor are 
the cold gray river and the dark brown hills re- 
freshing to the eye. But the reading of Whittier's 
Psalm drowns the howling of the winds, as " the 
clear tones of a bell are heard above the carts and 
drays of a city." Even simple voices of mutual 
affection, by the fireside, have such musical and 
pervasive power, that the outside storm often 
passes by unheard. The absence of colors in the 
landscape is rather dismal, especially in the latter 
part of the winter. Shall I tell you what I do 
when I feel a longing for bright hues ? I suspend 
glass prisms in the windows, and they make the 
light blossom into rainbows all over the room. 



216 LETTER FROM AN OLD WOMAN, 

Childish ! you will say. I grant it. But is child- 
ishness the greatest folly ? I told you I was 
satisfied with very simple pleasures ; and whether 
it be wise or not, I consider it great good fortune. 
It is more fortunate certainly to have home-made 
rainbows within, especially when one is old ; but 
even outward home-made rainbows are not to be 
despised, when flowers have hidden themselves, 
and the sun cannot manifest his prismatic glories, 
for want of mediums appropriate for their trans- 
mission. 

But Nature does not leave us long to pine for 
variety. Before the snow-lustre quite passes away, 
March comes, sombre in dress, but with a cheerful 
voice of promise : 

" The beechen buds begin to swell, 
And woods the blue-bird's warble know." 

Here and there a Lady's Delight peeps forth, smil- 
ing at me " right peert," as Westerners say ; and 
the first sight of the bright little thing gladdens my 
heart, like the crowing of a babe. The phenomena 
of spring have never yet failed to replenish the 
fountains of my inward life : 

" Spring still makes spring in the mind, 
When sixty years are told ; 
Love wakes anew this throbbing heart, 
And we are never old." 

As the season of Nature's renovation advances, it 
multiplies within me spiritual photographs, never 
to be destroyed. Last year I saw a striped squirrel 



ON HER BIRTHDAY. 217 

hopping along with a green apple in his paws, 
hugged up to his pretty little white breast. My 
mind daguerrotyped him instantaneously. It is 
there now ; and I expect to find a more vivid copy 
when my soul opens its portfolio of pictures in the 
other world. 

The wonders which summer brings are more 
and more suggestive of thought as I grow older. 
What mysterious vitality, what provident care, 
what lavishness of ornament, does Nature mani- 
fest, even in her most common productions ! Look 
at a dry bean-pod, and observe what a delicate lit- 
tle strip of silver tissue is tenderly placed above 
and below the seed ! Examine the clusters of 
Sweet- Williams, and you will find an endless vari- 
ety of minute embroidery-patterns, prettily dotted 
into the petals with diverse shades of colors. The 
shining black seed they produce look all alike ; 
but scatter them in the ground, and there will 
spring forth new combinations of form and color, 
exceeding the multiform changes of a kaleidoscope. 
I never can be sufficiently thankful that I early 
formed the habit of working in the garden with 
loving good- will. It has contributed more than 
anything else to promote healthiness of mind and 
body. 

Before one has time to observe a thousandth 

part of the miracles of summer, winter appears 

again, in ermine and diamonds, lavishly scattering 

his pearls. My birthday comes at this season, 
10 



218 LETTER FROM AN OLD WOMAN, 

and so I accept his jewels as a princely largess 
peculiarly bestowed upon myself. The day is kept 
as a festival. That is such a high-sounding expres- 
sion, that it may perhaps suggest to you recep- 
tion-parties, complimentary verses, and quantities 
of presents. Very far from it. Not more than 
half a dozen people in the world know when the 
day occurs, and they do not all remember it. As 
I arrive at the new milestone on my pilgrimage, I 
generally find that a few friends have placed gar- 
lands upon it. My last anniversary was distin- 
guished by a beautiful novelty. An offering came 
from people who never knew me personally, but 
who were gracious enough to say they took an 
interest in me on account of my writings. That 
was a kindness that carried me over into my new 
year on fairy wings ! I always know that the 
flowers in such garlands are genuine ; for those 
who deal in artificial roses are not in the habit of 
presenting them to secluded old people, without 
wealth or power. I have heard of a Parisian lady, 
who preferred Nattier's manufactured roses to those 
produced by Nature, because they were, as she 
said, " more like what a rose ought to be." But I 
never prefer artificial things to natural, even if 
they are more like what they ought to be. So I 
rejoice over the genuineness of the offerings which 
I find on the milestone, and often give preference 
to the simplest of them all. I thankfully add them 
to my decorations for the annual festival, which is 



ON HER BIRTHDAY. 219 

kept in the private apartments of my own soul, 
where six angel-guests present themselves unbid- 
den, — Use and Beauty, Love and Memory, Humil- 
ity and Gratitude. The first suggests to me to 
consecrate the advent of a new year in my life 
by some acts of kindness toward the sad, the op- 
pressed, or the needy. Another tells me to collect 
all the books, engravings, vases, &c, bestowed by 
friendly hands on the preceding birthdays of my 
life. Their beauties of thought, of form, and of 
color, excite my imagination, and fill me with con- 
templations of the scenes they represent, or the 
genius that produced them. Other angels bring 
back the looks and tones of the givers, and pleas- 
ant incidents, and happy meetings, in bygone years. 
Sometimes, Memory looks into my eyes too sadly, 
and I answer the look with tears. But I say to 
her, Nay, my friend, do not fix upon me that 
melancholy gaze ! Give me some of thy flowers ! 
Then, with a tender, moonlight smile, she brings 
me a handful of fragrant roses, pale, but beautiful. 
The other angels bid me remember who bestowed 
the innumerable blessings of Nature and Art, of 
friendship, and capacity for culture, and how un- 
worthy I am of all His goodness. They move my 
heart to earnest prayer that former faults may be 
forgiven, and that I may be enabled to live more 
worthily during the year on which I am entering. 
But I do not try to recall the faults of the past, 
lest such meditations should tend to make me weak 



220 LETTER FROM AN OLD WOMAN, 

for the future. I have learned that self-conscious- 
ness is not a healthy state of mind, on whatever 
theme it employs itself. Therefore, I pray the 
all-loving Father to enable me to forget myself ; 
not to occupy my thoughts with my own merits, 
or my own defects, my successes, or my disap- 
pointments ; but to devote my energies to the 
benefit of others, as a humble instrument of his 
goodness, in whatever way He may see fit to point 
out. 

On this particular birthday, I have been think- 
ing more than ever of the many compensations 
which age brings for its undeniable losses. I count 
it something to know, that, though the flowers 
offered me are few, they are undoubtedly genuine. 
I never conformed much to the world's ways, but, 
now that I am an old woman, I feel more free to 
ignore its conventional forms, and neglect its fleet- 
ing fashions. That also is a privilege. Another 
compensation of years is, that, having outlived ex- 
pectations, I am free from disappointments. I 
deem it a great blessing, also, that the desire for 
knowledge grows more active, as the time for 
acquiring it diminishes, and as, I realize more fully 
how much there is to be learned. It is true that 
in this pursuit one is always coming up against 
walls of limitation. All sorts of flying and creep- 
ing things excite questions in my mind to which I 
obtain no answers. I want to know what every 
bird and insect is doing, and what it is done for ; 



ON HER BIRTHDAY. 221 

but I do not understand their language, and no in- 
terpreter between us is to be found. They go on, 
busily managing their own little affairs, far more 
skilfully than we humans could teach them, with 
all our boasted superiority of intellect. I peep and 
pry into their operations with more and more in- 
terest, the older I grow ; but they keep their own 
secrets so well, that I discover very little. What 
I do find out, however, confirms my belief, that 
" the hand which made them is divine " ; and that 
is better than any acquisitions of science. Looking 
upon the world as a mere spectacle of beauty, I 
find its attractions increasing. I notice more than 
I ever did the gorgeous phantasmagoria of sunsets, 
the magical changes of clouds, the endless varieties 
of form and color in the flowers of garden and field, 
and the shell-flowers of the sea. Something of 
tenderness mingles with the admiration excited by 
all this fair array of earth, like the lingering, fare- 
well gaze we bestow on scenes from which we are 
soon to part. 

But the most valuable compensations of age are 
those of a spiritual character. I have committed 
so many faults myself, that I have become more 
tolerant of the faults of others than I was when I 
was young. My own strength has so often failed 
me when I trusted to it, that I have learned to 
look more humbly for aid from on high. I have 
formerly been too apt to murmur that I was not 
endowed with gifts and opportunities, which it ap- 



222 LETTER FROM AN OLD WOMAN. 

peared to me would have been highly advantageous. 
But I now see the wisdom and goodness of our 
Heavenly Father, even more in what He has de- 
nied, than in what He has bestowed. The rugged 
paths through which I have passed, the sharp re- 
grets I have experienced, seem smoother and softer 
in the distance behind me. Even my wrong-doings 
and short-comings have often been mercifully trans- 
muted into blessings. They have helped me to 
descend into the Valley of Humility, through which 
it is necessary to pass on our way to the Beautiful 
City. My restless aspirations are quieted. They 
are now all concentrated in this one prayer : 

" Help me, this and every day, 
To live more nearly as I pray." 

Having arrived at this state of peacefulness and 
submission, I find the last few years the happiest 
of my life. 

To you, my dear friend, who are so much 

younger, I would say, Travel cheerfully toward 

the sunset ! It will pass gently into a twilight, 

which has its own peculiar beauties, though 

differing from the morning ; and you 

will find that the night also 

is cheered by friendly 

glances of the 

stars. 




BRIGHT DAYS IN WINTER. 

By J. G. WHITTIER. 

BLAND as the morning's breath of June, 
The southwest breezes play, 
And through its haze, the winter noon 
Seems warm as summer's day. 

The snow-plumed Angel of the North 

Has dropped his icy spear ; 
Again the mossy earth looks forth, 

Again the streams gush clear. 

The fox his hillside den forsakes ; 

The muskrat leaves his nook ; 
The blue-bird, in the meadow-brakes, 

Is singing with the brook. 

" Bear up, Mother Nature ! " cry 
Bird, breeze, and streamlet free ; 

" Our winter voices prophesy 
Of summer days to thee." 

So in these winters of the soul, 
By wintry blasts and drear 



224 BRIGHT DAYS IN WINTER. 

O'erswept from Memory's frozen pole, 
Will summer days appear. 

Reviving hope and faith, they show 
The soul its living powers, 

And how, beneath the winter's snow, 
Lie germs of summer flowers. 

The Night is mother of the Day ; 

The Winter of the Spring ; 
And ever upon old decay 

The greenest mosses cling. 

Behind the cloud the starlight lurks ; 

Through showers the sunbeams fall ; 
For God, who loveth all his works, 

Has left his Hope with all. 



THE CANARY BIRD. 

YELLOW, small Canary bird, 
Sweetly singing all day long, 
Still in winter you are heard, 
Carolling a summer song. 

Thus when days are drear and dim, 

And the heart is caged, as you, 

May it still, with hopeful hymn, 

Sing of joy and find it true. 

John Sterling. 



OLD BACHELORS, 



By L. MARIA CHILD. 




fljl® HE use of the term old bachelor might 
be objected to, with as much reason 
as that of old maid, were it not for 
the fact that it has been regarded less 
contemptuously. Until within the last half-cen- 
tury, books have been written almost entirely by 
men. Looking at the subject from their point of 
view, they have generally represented that, if a 
woman remained single, it was because she could 
not avoid it ; and that her unfortunate condition 
was the consequence of her being repulsive in 
person or manners. The dramas and general 
literature of all countries abound with jokes on 
this subject. Women are described as jumping 
with ridiculous haste at the first chance to marry, 
and as being greatly annoyed if no chance presents 
itself. To speak of women as in the market, and 
of men as purchasers, has so long been a general 

habit, that it is done unconsciously ; and the habit 
10* o 



226 OLD BACHELORS. 

doubtless embodies a truth, though few people 
reflect why it is so. Nearly all the trades, pro- 
fessions, and offices are engrossed by men ; hence 
marriage is almost the only honorable means of 
support for women, and almost the only avenue 
open to those who are ambitious of position in 
society. This state of things gives an unhealthy 
stimulus to match-making, and does much to de- 
grade the true dignity and purity of marriage. 
But I allude to it here merely as explanatory why 
old maid is considered a more reproachful term 
than old bachelor ; one being supposed to be in- 
curred voluntarily, and the other by compulsion. 
There is a germ of vanity, more or less expanded 
in human nature, under all circumstances. Slaves 
are often very vain of bringing an unusually high 
price in the market ; because it implies that they 
are handsome, vigorous, or intelligent. It is the 
same feeling, manifested under a different aspect, 
that makes many women vain of the number 
of offers they have received, and mortified if they 
have had none. Men, on the contrary, being 
masters of the field, are troubled with no sense of 
shame, if they continue in an isolated position 
through life, though they may experience regret. 
The kind of jokes to which they are subjected 
generally imply that they have been less magnani- 
mous than they should have been, in not taking 
to themselves somebody to protect and support. 
Such a " railing accusation " is rather gratifying 



OLD BACHELORS. 227 

to the pride of human nature. Instead of hang- 
ing their heads, they sometimes smile, and say, 
with an air of gracious condescension : u Perhaps 
I may some day. I have not decided yet. I 
want to examine the market further." Now it is 
ten chances to one, that the individual thus speak- 
ing has heen examining the market, as he calls it, 
for a long time ; that he has been to the Fair, and 
tried to appropriate various pretty articles, but has 
been told that they were reserved for a previous 
purchaser. He may have been disappointed on 
such occasions ; and if they occurred when youth 
was passing away, he may have been prompted to 
look in the mirror, to pull out gray hairs, and as- 
certain, whether crows have been walking over his 
face. But if he perceives traces of their feet, he 
says to himself, " Pshaw ! What consequence is 
it, so long as I have a full purse and a handsome 
house to offer ? I shall have better luck next 
time. There are as good fish in the sea as ever 
were caught. One only needs to have bait on the 
hook." And so when a married acquaintance 
reminds him that he ought to take a wife, he 
answers, complacently, " Perhaps I shall. I want 
to examine the market." He is the one to confer 
support ; he need not wait to be asked. There 
is a dignified independence in such a position. 
Hence the term old bachelor is not so opprobrious 
as old maid, and no apology is necessary for 
using it. 



228 OLD BACHELORS. 

It is true, the single brotherhood are not without 
their annoyances. A meddlesome woman will 
sometimes remark to a bachelor friend, in a sig- 
nificant sort of way, that the back of his coat has 
a one-eyed look, by reason of the deficiency of a 
button ; and she will add, in a compassionate tone, 
" But what else can be expected, when a man has 
no wife to look after him ? " Another, still more 
mischievous, who happens to know of his attend- 
ing the Fair, and trying to buy various articles 
otherwise appropriated, will sometimes offer im- 
pertinent consolation ; saying, " Don't be discour- 
aged. Try again. Perhaps you '11 have better 
luck next time. You know the proverb says, 
There never was so silly a Jack but there 's as 
silly a Gill." Then again, the French phrase for 
old bachelor, Vieux Grargon, translates itself into 
right impudent English. Why on earth should a 
man be called the Old Boy, merely because he has 
not seen fit to marry ? when it is either because 
he don't like the market, or wants to look further, 
in order to make sure of getting his money's 
worth in the article. 

I have spoken facetiously, but it may well be 
excused. Women have for so many generations 
been the subject of pitiless jokes, rung through all 
manner of changes, and not always in the best 
taste, that it is pardonable to throw back a few 
jests, provided it be done in sport, rather than in 
malice. The simple fact is, however, that what I 



OLD BACHELORS. 229 

have said of unmarried women is also true of un- 
married men ; their being single is often the result 
of superior delicacy and refinement of feeling. 
Those who are determined to marry, will usually 
accomplish their object, sooner or later, while 
those who shrink from making wedlock a mere 
convenience, unsanctified by affection, will prefer 
isolation, though they sometimes find it sad. I 
am now thinking of one, who, for many reasons 
would probably be accepted by ninety-nine women 
out of a hundred. I once said to him, " How is 
it, that a man of your domestic tastes and affec- 
tionate disposition has never married ? " He 
hesitated a moment, then drew from under his 
vest the miniature of a very lovely woman, and 
placed it in my hand. I looked up with an 
inquiring glance, to which he replied : " Yes, 
perhaps it might have been ; perhaps it ought to 
have been. But I had duties to perform toward 
my widowed mother, which made me doubt 
whether it were justifiable to declare my feelings 
to the young lady. Meanwhile, another offered 
himself. She married him, and is, I believe, 
happy. I have never seen another woman who 
awakened in me the same feelings, and so I have 
remained unmarried." , 

I knew twin brothers, who became attached to 
the same lady. One was silent, for his brother's 
sake ; but he never married ; and through life he 
loved and assisted his brother's children, as if they 



230 OLD BACHELORS. 

had been his own. There are many such facts to 
prove that self-sacrifice and constancy are far from 
being exclusively feminine virtues. 

But my impression is, that there is a larger pro- 
portion of unmarried women than of unmarried 
men, who lead unselfish, useful lives. I, at least, 
have happened to know of more " Aunt Kindlys,'* 
than Uncle Kindlys. Women, by the nature of 
their in-door habits and occupations, can nestle 
themselves into the inmost of other people's fami- 
lies, much more readily than men. The house- 
hold inmate, who cuts paper-dolls to amuse fretful 
children, or soothes them with lullabies when they 
are tired, — who sews on buttons for the father, 
when he is in a hurry, or makes goodies for the in- 
valid mother, — becomes part and parcel of the 
household ; whereas a bachelor is apt to be a sort 
of appendage ; beloved and agreeable, perhaps, but 
still something on the outside. He is like moss on 
the tree, very pretty and ornamental, especially 
when lighted up by sunshine ; but no inherent 
part of the tree, essential to its growth. Some- 
times, indeed, one meets with a genial old bachelor, 
who cannot enter the house of a married friend, or 
relative, without having the children climb into his 
lap, pull out his watch, and search his pocket for 
sugar-plums. But generally, it must be confessed 
that a Vieux Crargon acts like an Old Boy when 
he attempts to make himself useful in the house. 
His efforts to quiet crying babies are laughable, 



OLD BACHELORS. 231 

and invariably result in making the babies cry 
more emphatically. A dignified, scholastic bache- 
lor, who had been spending the night with a mar- 
ried friend, was leaving his house after breakfast, 
when a lovely little girl of four or five summers 
peeped from the shrubbery, and called out, " Good 
morning ! " " Good morning, child ! ' replied he, 
with the greatest solemnity of manner, and passed 
on. A single woman would have said, " Good 
morning, dear ! " or " Good morning, little one ! ' 
But the bachelor was as dignified as if he had 
been making an apostrophe to the stars. Yet he 
had a great, kind heart, and was a bachelor be- 
cause that heart was too refined to easily forget a 
first impression. 

Bachelors do not become an outside appendage, 
if they are fortunate enough to have an unmarried 
sister, with whom they can form one household. 
There is such a couple in my neighborhood, as 
cozy and comfortable as any wedded pair, and 
quite as unlikely to separate, as if the law bound 
them together. The sister is a notable body, who 
does well whatever her hands find to do ; and the 
brother adopts wise precautions against tedious 
hours. He was a teacher in his youth, but is a 
miller now. An old mill is always a picturesque 
object, standing as it must in the midst of running 
water, whose drops sparkle and gleam in sunlight 
and moonlight. And our bachelor's mill is hidden 
in a wood, where birds love to build their nests, and 



232 OLD BACHELORS. 

innumerable insects are busy among ferns and 
mosses. The miller is busy, too, with a lathe to 
fill up the moments unoccupied by the work of the 
mill. He has made a powerful telescope for him- 
self, and returns to his home in the evening to 
watch the changing phases of the planets, or to 
entertain his neighbors with a vision of Saturn sail- 
ing through boundless fields of ether in his beautiful 
luminous ring. He can also discourse sweet music 
to his sister, by means of a parlor seraphine. 

I know another bachelor, who finds time to be a 
benefactor to his neighborhood, though his life is 
full of labors and cares. In addition to the per- 
petual work of a farm, he devotes himself with filial 
tenderness to a widowed mother and invalid aunts, 
and yet he is always ready wherever help or sym- 
pathy is needed. If a poor widow needs wood cut, 
he promptly supplies the want, and few men with 
a carriage and four are so ready to furnish a horse 
for any kindly service. The children all know his 
sleigh, and call after him for a ride. None of his 
animals have the forlorn, melancholy look which 
indicates a hard master. The expression of his 
countenance would never suggest to any one the 
condition of an old bachelor ; on the contrary, you 
would suppose he had long been accustomed to 
look into the eyes of little ones clambering upon 
his knees for a kiss. This is because he adopts all 
little humans into his heart. 

I presume it will generally be admitted that 



OLD BACHELORS. 233 

bachelors are more apt to be epicures, than are un- 
married women. In the first place, they have fewer 
details of employment to occupy their thoughts per- 
petually ; and secondly, they generally have greater 
pecuniary means for self-indulgence. The gour- 
mand, who makes himself unhappy, and disturbs 
everybody around him, if his venison is cooked the 
fortieth part of a minute too long, is less agreeable, 
and not less ridiculous than the old fop, who wears 
false whiskers, and cripples his feet with tight 
boots. 

There is a remedy for this, and for all other self- 
ishness and vanity ; it is to go out of ourselves, 
and be busy with helping others. Petty annoy- 
ances slip away and are forgotten when the mind 
is thus occupied. The wealthy merchant would 
find it an agreeable variation to the routine of 
business to interest himself in the welfare and im- 
provement of the sailors he employs. The pros- 
perous farmer would find mind and heart enlarged 
by helping to bring into general use new and im- 
proved varieties of fruits and vegetables ; not for 
mere money-making, but for the common good. 
And all would be happier for taking an active 
interest in the welfare of their country, and the 
progress of the world. 

Nothing can be more charming than Dickens's 
description of the Cheeryble Brothers, " whose 
goodness was so constantly a diffusing of itself over 
everywhere." 



234 OLD BACHELORS. 



a i 



Brother Ned,' said Mr. Cheeryble, tapping 
with his knuckles, and stooping to listen, ' are 
you busy, my dear brother ? or can you spare time 
for a word or two with me ? ' 

" ' Brother Charles, my dear fellow,' replied a 
voice from within, 4 don't ask me such a question, 
but come in directly.' Its tones were so exactly 
like that which had just spoken, that Nicholas 
started, and almost thought it was the same. 

" They went in without further parley. What 
was the amazement of Nicholas, when his con- 
ductor advanced and exchanged a warm greet- 
ing with another old gentleman, the very type 
and model of himself; the same face, the same 
figure, the same coat, waistcoat, and neckcloth, the 
same breeches and gaiters ; nay, there was the 
very same white hat hanging against the wall. No- 
body could have doubted their being twin brothers. 
As they shook each other by the hand, the face of 
each lighted up with beaming looks of affection, 
which would have been most delightful to behold 
in infants, and which in men so old was inexpres- 
sibly touching. 

u 4 Brother Ned,' said Charles, ' here is a young 
friend that we must assist. We must make proper 
inquiries into his statements, and if they are con- 
firmed, as they will be, we must assist him.' 

" ' It is enough, my dear brother, that you say 
we should. When you say that, no further in- 
quiries are needed. He shall be assisted.' 



OLD BACHELORS. 235 

"'I've a plan, my dear brother, I've a plan,' 
said Charles. ' Tim Linkinwater is getting old ; 
and Tim has been a faithful servant, brother Ned ; 
and I don't think pensioning Tim's mother and 
sister, and buying a little tomb for the family when 
his poor brother died, was a sufficient recompense 
for his faithful services.' 

" ' No, no,' replied the other, ' not half enough ; 
not half.' 

" ' If we could lighten Tim's duties,' said the 
old gentleman, ' and prevail upon him to go into 
the country now and then, and sleep in the fresh 
air two or three times a week, Tim Linkinwater 
would grow young again in time ; and he 's three 
good years our senior now. Old Tim Linkinwa- 
ter young again ! Eh, brother Ned, eh ? Why, 
I recollect old Tim Linkinwater quite a little boy ; 
don't you ? Ha, ha, ha ! Poor Tim ! Poor Tim ! ' 
and the fine old fellows laughed pleasantly together ; 
each with a tear of regard for old Tim Linkinwa- 
ter standing in his eye. 

" ' But you must hear this young gentleman's 
story,' said Charles ; ' you '11 be very much af- 
fected, brother Ned, remembering the time when 
we were two friendless lads, and earned our first 
shilling in this great city.' 

" The twins pressed each other's hands in silence, 
and, in his own homely manner, Charles related 
the particulars he had just heard from Nicholas. 
It is no disparagement to the young man to say, 



236 OLD BACHELORS. 

that, at every fresh expression of their kindness and 
sympathy, he could only wave his hand and sob 
like a child. 

" i But we are keeping our young friend too 
long, my dear brother,' said Charles. ' His poor 
mother and sister will be anxious for his return. 
So good by for the present. Good by. No, not 
a word now. Good by.' And the brothers hur- 
ried him out, shaking hands with him all the way, 
and affecting, very unsuccessfully (for they were 
poor hands at deception), to be wholly unconscious 
of the feelings that mastered him. 

" The next day, he was appointed to the vacant 
stool in the counting-house of Cheeryble Brothers, 
with a salary of one hundred and twenty pounds 
a year. * And I think, my dear brother,' said 
Charles, 4 that if we were to let them that little 
cottage at Bow, something under the usual rent — 
Eh, brother Ned ? ' 

" c For nothing at all,' said his brother, ' We 
are rich, and should be ashamed to touch the rent 
under such circumstances as these. For nothing 
at all, my dear brother.' 

" ' Perhaps it would be better to say something,' 
suggested the other, mildly. ' We might say fif- 
teen or twenty pound ; and if it was punctually 
paid, make it up to them in some other way. It 
would help to preserve habits of frugality, you 
know, and remove any painful sense of over- 
whelming obligation. And I might secretly ad- 



OLD BACHELORS. 237 

vance a small loan toward a little furniture ; and 
you might secretly advance another small loan, 
brother Ned. And if we find them doing well we 
can change the loans into gifts ; carefully, and by 
degrees, without pressing upon them too much. 
What do you say now, brother ? ' 

" Brother Ned gave his hand upon it, and not 
only said it should be done, but had it done. And 
in one short week, Nicholas took possession of his 
stool, and his mother and sister took possession of 
the house ; and all was hope, bustle, and light- 
headedness." 

There are Cheeryble old bachelors in real life ; 
genial souls, and genuine benefactors to mankind. 
When they are so, I think they deserve 
more credit than married men of similar 
characters ; for the genial virtues 
are fostered by kindly domes- 
tic influences, as fruit is 
matured and sweet- 
ened by the 
sunshine. 



The dog in the kennel growls at his fleas ; the 
dog that is busy hunting does not feel them. 

Chinese Proverb. 



TAKING IT EASY 



By GEORGE H. CLARK. 



ADMIT that I am slightly bald,— 
Pray, who 's to blame for that ? 
And who is wiser for the fact, 

Until I lift my hat? 
Beneath the brim my barbered locks 

Fall in a careless way, 
Wherein my watchful wife can spy 
No lurking threads of gray. 

What though, to read compactest print, 

I 'm forced to hold my book 
A little farther off than when 

Life's first degree T took ? 
A yoke of slightly convex lens 

The needful aid bestows, 
And you should see how wise I look 

With it astride my nose. 

Don't talk of the infernal pangs 
That rheumatism brings ! 



TAKING IT EASY. 239 

I 'm getting used to pains and aches, 

And all those sort of things. 
And when the imp Sciatica 

Makes his malicious call, 
I do not need an almanac 

To tell me it is fell. 

Besides, it gives one quite an air 

To travel with a cane, 
And makes folk think you " well to do," 

Although you are in pain. 
A fashionable hat may crown 

Genteelest coat and vest, 
But ah ! the sturdy stick redeems 

And sobers all the rest. 

A man deprived of natural sleep 

Becomes a stupid elf, 
And only steals from Father Time 

To stultify himself. 
So, if you 'd be a jovial soul, 

And laugh at life's decline, 
Take my advice, — turn off the gas, 

And go to bed at nine ! 

An easy-cushioned rocking-chair 

Suits me uncommon well ; 
And so do liberal shoes, — like these, — 

With room for corns to swell ; 
I cotton to the soft lamb's-wool 

That lines my gloves of kid, 
And love elastic home-made socks, — 

Indeed, I always did. 



240 TAKING IT EASY. 

But what disturbs me more than all 

Is, that sarcastic boys 
Prefer to have me somewhere else, 

When they are at their noise ; 
That while I try to look and act 

As like them as I can, 
They will persist in mister-ing me, 

And calling me a man ! 



True — Time will seam and blanch my brow. 

Well, I shall sit with aged men, 
And my good glass will tell me how 

A grisly beard becomes me then. 

And should no foul dishonor lie 
Upon my head, when I am gray, 

Love yet shall watch my fading eye, 
And smooth the path of my decay. 

Then haste thee, Time, — 't is kindness all 
That speeds thy winged feet so fast ; 

Thy pleasures stay not till they pall, 
And all thy pains are quickly past. 

Thou niest and bear'st away our woes, 
And, as thy shadowy train depart, 

The memory of sorrow grows 
A lighter burden on the heart. 

W. C. Bryant. 



OLD AUNTY. 



The following is a true story. I well remember the worthy 
old woman, who sat in Washington Park, behind a table covered 
with apples and nuts. I also know the family of the little 
Joanna, who used to carry her a cup of hot tea and warm rolls 
from one of the big houses in the adjoining Square, and who got 
up a petition to the Mayor in her behalf. It is a humble pic- 
ture ; but a soft, warm light falls on it from poor Old Aunty's 
self-sacrificing devotion to her orphans, and from the mutual love 
between her and the children of the neighborhood. 

L. M. C. 




^LL the children knew Old Aunty. 



Every day, in rain or shine, she sat 

there in the Park, with her little store 

of candies, cakes, and cigars, spread on 

a wooden box. Her cheerful smile and hearty 

" God bless you ! ' were always ready for the 

children, whether they bought of her or not. If 

they stopped to purchase, she gave right generous 

measure, heaping the nuts till they rolled off the top 

of the pint, and often throwing in a cake or stick 

of candy ; so generous was her heart. 

11 p 



242 OLD AUNTY. 

Like all unselfish people, Aunty was happy as 
the days are long. Had you followed her home 
at night, you would have seen her travel down a 
poor old street, narrow and musty, and climb the 
broken stairs of a poor old house that was full of 
other lodgers, some of them noisy, disorderly, and 
intemperate. When she opened the creaking door 
of her one small room, you would have seen the 
boards loose in the floor, little furniture, very little 
that looked like rest or comfort, like home for a 
tired body that had toiled full seventy years, and 
had once known the pleasure of a cheerful fireside 
and a full house. 

But presently you would hear the patter of little 
feet, and the music of children's voices, and little 
hands at work with the rusty door-latch, till open 
it flew. You would have heard two merry little 
creatures shouting, " Granny 's come home ! Dear 
Granny 's come home ! " You would have seen 
them dancing about her, clapping their bands, and 
saying, " O we 're so glad, so glad you 've come 
back ! " These are the orphan grandchildren, to 
feed and clothe whom Old Aunty is willing to 
walk so far, and sit so long in the cold, and earn 
penny by penny, as the days go by. 

She kindles no fire, for it is not winter yet, and 
the poor can eat their supper cold : but the chil- 
dren's love and a well-spent day kindle a warmth 
and a light in the good dame's heart, such as I 
fear seldom beams in some of those great stately 
houses in the Square. 



OLD AUNTY. 243 

With such a home, it is not strange that Aunty- 
liked to sit under the pleasant trees of the Parade 
Ground (for so the Park was called), breathe the 
fresh air, and watch the orderly people going to 
and fro. Many stopped to exchange a word with 
her ; even the police officers, in their uniforms, 
liked a chat with the sociable old lady ; and the 
children, on their way to school, were never too 
hurried for a " Good morning, Aunty ! ' that 
would leave a smile on her wrinkled face, long 
after they had bounded out of sight. 

It was nearly as good as if Aunty had a farm 
of her own ; for it is always country up in the sky, 
you know ; in the beautiful blue, among the soft 
clouds, and along the tops of the trees. Even in 
that dismal, musty street, where she lived, she 
could see the sunshine, and the wonderful stars at 
evening. Then all about the Parade Ground stood 
the fine great houses of Washington Square ; and 
leading from it, that Fifth Avenue, which is said 
to be the most splendid street in the world, — whole 
miles of palaces. 

" Don't I enjoy them all, without having the 
care of them ? " Aunty used to say. 

When we asked if she did n't grow tired of sit- 
ting there all day, she would answer, " Sure, and 
who is n't tired sometimes, rich or poor ? ' 

" But is not the ground damp, Aunty ? " 

" I expect it is, especially after a rain ; but what 
then ? It only gives me the rheumatism ; and that 
is all the trouble I have. God be praised ! " 



244 OLD AUNTY. 

" But it is so cold now, Aunty ; so late in No- 
vember ; and you are so old ; it is n't safe." 

" O, but it 's safer than to have my children 
starve or turn beggars, I guess. I have my old 
umbrella when it rains or snows, and them 's my 
harvest-days, you see ; for there 's a deal of pity 
in the world. And besides, the children in that 
house yonder, often bring me out a hot cup of tea 
at luncheon-time, or cakes of good warm bread in 
the morning. Let me alone for being happy ! ' 

But earthly happiness hangs on a slight thread. 
There came a change in the city government ; 
Aunty's good friends among the police were re- 
moved ; the new officers proved their zeal by mak 
ing every change they could think of. " New 
brooms sweep clean," and they swept off from the 
Parade Ground, poor Aunty, and all her stock in 
trade. 

But in one of the houses opposite Aunty's cor- 
ner of the Park, lived a family of children who 
took especial interest in her ; Charlie, Willie, Vin- 
cent, and Joanna, and I can't tell how many more. 
It was they who christened her " Aunty," till all 
the neighbors, old and young, took up the name ; 
it was they who, on wintry days, had offered her 
the hot cup of tea, and the warm bread. They 
almost felt as if she were an own relative, or a 
grown-up child given them to protect and comfort. 

One morning, Joanna looked up from the break- 
fast-table, and exclaimed, " There ! Aunty is not 
in the Park ; they have sent her away ! ' 



OLD AUNTY. 245 

The children had feared this change. You may 
guess how eagerly they ran to the window, and 
with what mournful faces they exclaimed again and 
again, " It is too bad ! " They would eat no more 
breakfast ; they could think and talk of nothing 
but Aunty's wrongs. 

It was a bleak December day, and there the 
poor old woman sat outside the iron railing, no 
pleasant trees above her, but dust and dead leaves 
blowing wildly about. Charlie said, with tears in 
his eyes, " It 's enough to blind poor Old Aunty." 

" It's enough to ruin her candy," said Joanna, 
who was a practical little body. She had a look 
in her eyes that was better than tears ; a look that 
seemed to say, " Her candy shall not be rub Led. 
Aunty shall go back to her rightful place." 

We did not know about Aunty's having any 
right to her old seat ; but we all agreed that it was 
far better for her to sit near the path that ran slant- 
wise through the Park, and was trodden by hun- 
dreds and thousands of feet every day ; clerks 
going to Sixth Avenue, and merchants to Broad- 
way ; newsmen, porters, school-children, teachers, 
preachers, invalids ; there was no end to the people. 
Many a cake or apple they had taken from Aunty's 
board, and in their haste, or kindness, never waited 
for change to the bit of silver they tossed her. 

In New York every one is in such a hurry that 
unless you are almost under their feet they cannot 
see you. For this reason, on the day of Aunty's 



246 OLD AUNTY. 

absence, she had the grief of watching many old 
friends and customers go past, give a surprised look 
at her old seat, and hurry on, never observing her, 
though she sat so near. 

A few, who espied Aunty, stopped in their haste 
to hear her story and condole with her. The 
children found her out, you may be sure, and 
gathered about her, telling her how much too bad 
it was ; and how they should like to set the police- 
men, Mayor and all, out there on a bench in the 
dust, for one half-hour ; but what could children 
do ? So they passed on. Some of the fashionable 
ladies in the Square stopped to tell Aunty how they 
pitied her, begged her not to feel unhappy, and 
passed on. Only Trouble stood still and frowned 
at her ; all the rest passed on. 

No, not all ; not our little Joanna. She came 
home with a thoughtful face, and asked, very ener- 
getically, " What do you mean to do about Aunty ? 
It is a shame that all these rich, strong, grown- 
up people on the Square, cannot stand up for the 
rights of one poor old woman." 

We told her the city was richer than the rich- 
est, stronger than the strongest. 

" O," persisted Joanna, " if we, or any of them, 
wanted a new lamp-post, or a hydrant mended, we 
should muster strength fast enough. And now, 
what 's to become of Aunty and her poor children? 
that is all I ask." 

We smiled at Joey's enthusiasm, and thought it 



OLD AUNTY. 247 

would soon pass away. When she came home 
from school that afternoon, with a whole troop of 
little girls, we thought it had already passed away. 
As they ran down the area-steps, we wondered what 
amusement they were planning now. Presently, 
Joanna came up-stairs, her eyes looking very 
bright, and said, " Please give me the inkstand." 

We asked, "What now, child?" 

66 O, do just give me the inkstand ! ' said she, 
impatiently. " We are not in any mischief; we 
are attending to business"', and off she ran. 

Before very long she appeared again with a 
paper, her black eyes burning like stars. " There, 
mother, — and all of you, — you must sign this 
letter, as quick as ever you can. I have made a 
statement of Aunty's case ; all the children have 
signed their names ; and now we are going to 
every house in the Square, till we have a good 
long list." 

"And what then?" 

" I shall ask father to take it to the Mayor. He 
wont be so unreasonable as to refuse us ; no one 
could." 

Joanna had written out Aunty's story, in her 
own simple, direct way. She told how this nice, 
neat, pleasant old person had been turned out of 
the Park ; how the children all had liked her, and 
found it convenient to buy at her table ; and how 
she never scolded if they dropped papers and nut- 
shells about, but took her own little pan and brush 



248 OLD AUNTY. 

and swept them away ; she was so orderly. She 
ended her letter with a petition that the Mayor 
would be so good to the children, and this excel- 
lent old grandmother, as to let her go back to her 
old seat. 

If the Mayor could refuse, we could not ; so 
our names went down on the paper ; and before 
the ink was dry, off ran Joanna. The hall-door 
slammed, and we saw her with all her friends run 
up the steps of the neighboring houses, full of 
excitement and hope. 

Nearly all the families that lived in the great 
houses of Washington Square were rich ; and some 
of them proud and selfish, perhaps ; for money 
sometimes does sad mischief to the hearts of peo- 
ple. We asked ourselves, " What will they care 
for old Aunty ? " 

Whatever their tempers might be, however, 
when the lady or gentleman came and saw the 
bright, eager faces, and the young eyes glistening 
with sympathy, and the little hands pointing out 
there at the aged woman on the sidewalk, — while 
they were in their gilded and cushioned houses, — 
they could not refuse a name, and the list swelled 
fast. 

At one house lived three Jewesses, who were so 
pleased with the children's scheme, that they not 
only gave their own names, but obtained many 
more. "" They are Jews, ma'am, but they 're 
Christians ! " said Aunty afterwards ; by which 



OLD AUNTY. . 249 

she meant, it is not names, but actions, that prove 
us followers of the loving, compassionate Christ. 

So large was the Square, so many houses to 
visit, that the ladies' help was very welcome. 
They could state Aunty's case with propriety ; 
and what with their words and the children's 
eloquent faces, all went well. 

So the paper was filled with signatures, and Jo- 
anna's father took it to the Mayor. He smiled, 
and signed his name, in big letters, to an order 
that Aunty should return at once to her old seat, 
and have all the privileges she had ever enjoyed in 
the Park ; and the next morning there she was, in 
her own old corner ! 

As soon as she came, the children ran out to 
welcome her. As she shook hands with them, and 
looked up in their pleased faces, we saw her again 
and again wipe the tears from her old eyes. 

Everybody that spoke to Aunty that day, con- 
gratulated her ; and when the schools in the neigh- 
borhood were dismissed, the scholars and teachers 
went together, in procession, and bought everything 
Aunty had to sell ; till the poor old woman could 
only cover her face and cry, to think that she had 
so many friends. If ever you go to the Parade 
Ground, in New York, you may talk with old 
Aunty, and ask her if this story is not true. 

B. 

11* 



RICHARD AND KATE. 



A SUFFOLK BALLAD. 

The following verses were written by Robert Bloomfield, an 
English shoemaker, more than sixty years ago, when the work- 
ing-classes of England had far more limited opportunities for 
obtaining education than they now have. Criticism could easily 
point out imperfections in the style of this simple story, but the 
consolations of age among the poor are presented in such a 
touching manner that it is worthy of preservation. 

" /""i OME, Goody ! stop your humdrum wheel ! 
\_J Sweep up your orts, and get your hat ! 
Old joys revived once more I feel, 

'T is Fair-day ! Ay, and more than that ! 

" Have you forgot, Kate, prithee say, 

How many seasons here we 've tarried ? 
'T is forty years, this very day, 
• Since you and I, old girl, were married, 

" Look out ! The sun shines warm and bright ; 

The stiles are low, the paths all dry : 
I know you cut your corns last night ; 

Come ! be as free from care as I. 



RICHARD AND KATE. 251 

" For I 'm resolved once more to see 

That place where we so often met ; 
Though few have had more cares than we, 

We 've none just now to make us fret." 

s 

Kate scorned to damp the generous flame, 
That warmed her aged partner's breast ; 

Yet, ere determination came, 

She thus some trifling doubts expressed : ■ — 

" Night will come on, when seated snug, 
And you 've perhaps begun some tale ; 

Can you then leave your dear stone mug ? 
Leave all the folks, and all the ale ? " 

" Ay, Kate, I wool ; because I know, 

Though time has been we both could run, 

Such days are gone and over now. 
I only mean to see the fun." 

His mattock he behind the door, 

And hedging gloves, again replaced ; 

And looked across the yellow moor, 

And urged his tottering spouse to haste. 

The day was up, the air serene, 

The firmament without a cloud ; 
The bees hummed o'er the level green, 

Where knots of trembling cowslips bowed. 

And Richard thus, with heart elate, 
As past things rushed across his mind, 

Over his shoulder talked to Kate, 

Who, snug tucked up, walked slow behind : 



252 RICHARD AND KATE 

" When once a giggling mauther * you, 

And I a red-faced, chubby boy, 
Sly tricks you played me, not a few ; 

For mischief was your greatest joy. 

" Once, passing by this very tree, 
A gotch f of milk I 'd been to fill ; 

You shouldered me ; then laughed to see 
Me and my gotch spin down the hill." 

" 'T is true," she said ; " but here behold, 
And marvel at the course of time ! 

Though you and I are both grown old, 
This tree is only in its prime." 

" Well, Goody, don't stand preaching now ! 

Folks don't preach sermons at a Fair. 
We 've reared ten boys and girls, you know ; 

And I '11 be bound they '11 all be there." 

Now friendly nods and smiles had they, 
From many a kind Fair-going face ; 

And many a pinch Kate gave away, 
While Richard kept his usual pace. 

At length, arrived amid the throng, 

Grandchildren, bawling, hemmed them round, 

And dragged them by the skirts along, 
Where gingerbread bestrewed the ground. 

And soon the aged couple spied 

Their lusty sons, and daughters dear ; 

When Richard thus exulting cried : 
" Did n't I tell you they 'd be here ? " 

* A giddy young girl. f A pitcher. 



RICHARD AND KATE. 253 

The cordial greetings of the soul 

Were visible in every face ; 
Affection, void of all control, 

Governed with a resistless grace. 

'T was good to see the honest strife, 
Who should contribute most to please ; 

And hear the long-recounted life, 
Of infant tricks and happy days. 

But now, as at some nobler places, 

Among the leaders 't was ,decreed 
Time to begin the Dicky-Races, 

More famed for laughter than for speed. 

Richard looked on with wondrous glee, 
And praised the lad who chanced to win. 

" Kate, wa'n't I such a one as he ? 
As like him, ay, as pin to pin ? 

" Full fifty years have passed away, 
Since I rode this same ground about ; 

Lord ! I was lively as the day ! 
I won the High-lows, out and out. 

1 

" I 'm surely growing young again, 

I feel myself so kedge and plump ! 
From head to feet I 've not one pain. 

Nay, hang me, if I could n't jump ! " 

Thus spake the ale in Richard's pate ; 

A very little made him mellow ; 
But still he loved his faithful Kate, 

Who whispered thus : " My good old fellow, 



254 RICHARD AND KATE. 

" Remember what you promised me ! 

And, see, the sun is getting low ! 
The children want an hour, ye see, 

To talk a bit before we go." 

Like youthful lover, most complying, 

He turned and chucked her by the chin ; 

Then all across the green grass hieing ; 
Right merry faces, all akin. 

Their farewell quart beneath a tree, 
That drooped its branches from above, 

Awaked the pure felicity, 

That waits upon parental love. 

Kate viewed her blooming daughters round, 
And sons who shook her withered hand ; 

Her features spoke what joy she found, 
But utterance had made a stand. 

The children toppled on the green, 

And bowled their fairings down the hill ; 

Richard with pride beheld the scene, 
Nor could he, for his life, sit still. 

A father's unchecked feelings gave 

A tenderness to all he said : 
" My boys, how proud am I to have 

My name thus round the country spread ! 

" Through all my days I Ve labored hard, 
And could of pains and crosses tell ; 

But this is labor's great reward, 
To meet ye thus, and see ye well. 



RICHARD AND KATE. 255 

" My good old partner, when at home, 
Sometimes with wishes mingles tears ; 

Goody, says I, let what wool come, 

We Ve nothing for them but our prayers. 

" May you be all as old as I, 

And see your sons to manhood grow ; 

And many a time, before you die, 
Be just as pleased as I am now." 

Then (raising still his mug and voice), 
" An old man's weakness don't despise ! 

I love you well, my girls and boys. 

God bless you all ! " So said his eyes ; 

For, as he spoke, a big round drop 
Fell bounding on his ample sleeve ; 

A witness which he could not stop ; 
A witness which all hearts believe. 

Thou, filial piety, wert there ; 

And round the ring, benignly bright, 
Dwelt in the luscious half-shed tear, 

And in the parting words, " Good Night ! " 

With thankful hearts and strengthened lo^e 

The poor old pair, supremely blest, 
Saw the sun sink behind the grove, 

And gained once more their lowly rest 



LUDOVICO CORNARO. 

DERIVED FROM THE WRITINGS OF CORNARO. 

" I do not woo 

The means of weakness and debility ; 

Therefore, my age is as a lusty winter, 

Frosty, but kindly." 

Varied from Shakespeare. 




UDOVICO CORNARO, descended 
from a noble family in Venice, was 
born in 1462, thirty years before Amer- 
ica was discovered. He removed to 
Padua, where he married, and late in life had an 
only child, a daughter, who married one of the 
Cornaro family. 

. As an illustration of the physical laws of our 
being, the outlines of his history are worthy of pres- 
ervation. He was wealthy, and indulged in the 
habits common to young men of his class. He 
was fond of sensual indulgences, and especially 
drank wine intemperately. The consequence was, 
that from twenty-five years of age to forty, he was 
afflicted with dyspepsia, gout, and frequent slow 



LUDOVICO CORNARO. 257 

fevers. Medicines failed to do any permanent 
good, and physicians told him that nothing could 
restore him but simplicity and regularity of living. 
This advice was very contrary to his taste, and he 
continued to indulge in the luxuries of the table, 
paying the penalty of suffering for it afterwards. 
At last his health was so nearly ruined, that the 
doctors predicted he could not live many months. 
At this crisis, being about forty years old, he re- 
solved to become temperate and abstemious ; but it 
required so much effort to change his dissipated 
habits, that he frequently resorted to prayer for 
aid in keeping the virtuous resolution. His perse- 
verance was more speedily rewarded than might 
have been expected ; for in less than a year he 
was freed from the diseases which had so long tor- 
mented him. In order to preserve the health thus 
restored to him, he observed the peculiarities of 
his constitution, and carefully conformed to them 
in his habits and modes of living. He says : " It 
is a favorite maxim with epicures that whatever 
pleases the palate must agree with the stomach 
and nourish the body ; but this I found to be false ; 
for pork, pastry, salads, rough wines, &c, were 
very agreeable to my palate, yet they disagreed 
with me." There seems to have been nothing 
peculiar in the kinds of food which constituted his 
nourishment ; moderation as to quantity, and sim- 
plicity in modes of cooking, were the principal 
things he deemed of importance. He speaks of 

Q 



258 LUDOVICO CORNARO. 

mutton, fish, poultry, birds, eggs, light soups and 
broths, and new wine in moderate quantities, as 
among his customary articles of diet. He is par- 
ticularly earnest in his praises of bread. He says : 
" Bread, above all things, is man's proper food, and] 
always relishes well when seasoned by a good appe- 
tite ; and this natural sauce is never wanting to 
those who eat but little ; for when the stomach is 
not burdened, there is no need to wait long for an 
appetite. I speak from experience ; for I find such 
sweetness in bread, that I should be afraid of sin- 
ning against temperance in eating it, were it not 
for my being convinced of the absolute necessity 
for nourishment, and that we cannot make use of 
a more natural kind of food." 

He does not lay down specific rules for others, 
but very wisely advises each one to govern himself 
according to the laws of his own constitution. He 
says every man ought carefully to observe what 
kinds of food and drink agree or disagree with 
him, and indulge or refrain accordingly ; but what- 
ever he eats or drinks, it should be in quantities so 
moderate as to be easily digested. He grows elo- 
quent in his warnings against the fashionable lux- 
ury, by which he had himself suffered so severely. 
He exclaims : " O, unhappy Italy ! Do you not see 
that intemperance causes more deaths than plague, 
or fire, or many battles ? These profuse feasts, 
now so much in fashion, where the tables are not 
large enough to hold the variety of dishes, I tell 



LUDOVICO CORNARO. 259 

you these cause more murders than so many bat- 
tles. I beseech you to put a stop to these abuses. 
Banish luxury, as you would the plague. I am 
certain there is no vice more abominable in the eyes 
of the Divine Majesty. It brings on the body a 
long and lasting train of disagreeable sensations 
and diseases, and at length it destroys the soul also. 
I have seen men of fine understanding and amia- 
ble disposition carried off by this plague, in the 
flower of their youth, who, if they had lived ab- 
stemiously, might now be among us, to benefit and 
adorn society." 

His dissertations on health may be condensed 
into the following concise general rules, which are 
worthy of all acceptance : — 

Let every man study his own constitution, and 
regulate food, drink, and other habits in conform- 
ity thereto. 

Never indulge in anything which has the effect 
to render the body uncomfortable or lethargic, or 
the mind restless and irritable. 

Even healthy food should be cooked with 
simplicity, and eaten with moderation. Never 
eat or drink to repletion, but make it a rule to 
rise from the table with inclination for a little 
more. 

Be regular in the hours for meals and sleep. j 

Be in the open air frequently ; riding, walking, 1 
or using other moderate exercise. i 

Avoid extremes of heat or cold, excessive fatigue, 



260 LUDOVICO CORNARO. 

and places where the air is unwholesome, for want 
of ventilation. 

Restrain anger and fretfulness, and keep all 
malignant or sensual passions in constant check. 
Banish melancholy, and do everything to promote 
cheerfulness. All these things have great influ- 
ence over bodily health. 

Interest yourself constantly in employments of 
some kind. 

He gives it as his opinion that anger, peevish- 
ness, and despondency are not likely to trouble 
those who are temperate and regular in their hab- 
its, and diligent in their occupations. He says : 
" I was born with a very choleric disposition, inso- 
much that there was no living with me. But I 
reflected that a person under the sway of passion 
was for the time being no better than a lunatic. 
I therefore resolved to make my temper give way 
to reason. I have so far succeeded, that anger 
never entirely overcomes me, though I do not 
guard myself so well as not to be sometimes hur- 
ried away by it. I have, however, learned by ex- 
perience that hurtful passions of any kind have but 
little power over those who lead a sober and use- 
ful life. Neither despondency nor any other affec- 
tion of the mind will harm bodies governed by 
temperance and regularity." 

In answer to the objection that he lived too 
sparingly to make the change which is sometimes 
necessary in case of sickness, he replies: " Nature 



LUDOVICO CORNARO. 261 

is so desirous to preserve men in good health, that 
she herself teaches them how to ward off illness. 
When it is not good for them to eat, appetite 
usually diminishes. Whether a man has been ab- 
stemious or not, when he is ill it is necessary to 
take only such nourishment as is suited to his dis- 
order, and even that in smaller quantities than he 
was accustomed to in health. But the best answer 
to this objection is, that those who live very tem- 
perately are hot liable to be sick. By removing 
the cause of diseases, they prevent the effects." 

He also maintains that external injuries are very 
easily cured, when the blood has been kept in a 
pure state by abstemious living and regular habits. 
In proof of it, he tells his own experience when, at 
seventy years of age, he was overturned in a coach, 
and dragged a considerable distance by the fright- 
ened horses. He was severely bruised, and a leg 
and arm were broken ; but his recovery was so 
rapid and complete, that physicians were aston- 
ished. 

Much of his health and cheerfulness he attributes 
to constant occupation. He says : " The greatest 
source of my happiness is the power to render 
some service to my dear country. O, what a glo- 
rious amusement ! I delight to show Venice how 
her important harbor can be improved, and how 
large tracts of lands, marshes and barren sands 
can be rendered productive ; how her fortification? 
can be strengthened ; how her air, though excel 



262 LUDOVICO CORNARO. 

lent, can be made still purer ; and how, beautiful 
as she is, the beauty of her buildings can still be 
increased. For two months together, during the 
heat of summer, I have been with those who were 
appointed to drain the public marshes ; and though 
I was seventy-five years old, yet, such is the effi- 
cacy of an orderly life, that I found myself none 
the worse for the fatigue and inconveniences I suf- 
fered. It is also a source of satisfaction to me that, 
having lost a considerable portion of my income, I 
was enabled to repair it for my grandchildren, by 
that most commendable of arts, agriculture. I did 
this by infallible methods, worked out by dint of 
thought, without any fatigue of body, and very 
little of mind. I owned an extensive marshy dis- 
trict, where the air was so unwholesome that it 
was more fit for snakes than men. I drained off 
the stagnant waters, and the air became pure. 
People resorted thither so fast, that a village soon 
grew up, laid out in regular streets, all terminating 
in a large square, in the middle of which stands 
the church. The village is divided by a wide and 
rapid branch of the river Brenta, on both sides of 
which is a considerable extent of well-cultivated 
fertile fields. I may say with truth, that in this 
place I have erected an altar to God, and brought 
thither souls to adore him. When I visit these 
people, the sight of these things affords me infinite 
satisfaction and enjoyment. In my gardens, too, I 
always find something to do that amuses me. It 



LUDOVICO CORNARO. 263 

is also a great satisfaction to me, that I can write 
treatises with my own hand, for the service of 
others ; and that, old as I am, I can study im- 
portant, sublime, and difficult subjects, without 
fatigue." 

His writings consisted of short treatises on health, 
agriculture, architecture, etc. In an essay, enti- 
tled, " A Guide to Health," written when he was 
eighty-three years old, he says : " My faculties are 
all perfect ; particularly my palate, which now 
relishes better the simple fare I eat than it for- 
merly did the most luxurious dishes, when I led an 
irregular life. Change of beds gives me no unea- 
siness. I sleep everywhere soundly and quietly, 
and my dreams are always pleasant. I climb hills 
from bottom to top, afoot, with the greatest ease 
and unconcern. I am cheerful and good-humored, 
being free from perturbations and disagreeable 
thoughts. Joy and peace have so firmly fixed 
their residence in my bosom, that they never 
depart from it." 

In another essay, called " A Compendium of a 
Sober Life," he says : " I now find myself sound 
and hearty, at the age of eighty-six. My senses 
continue perfect ; even my teeth, my voice, my 
memory, and my strength. What is more, the 
powers of my mind do not diminish, as I advance 
in years ; because, as I grow older, I lessen the 
quantity of my solid food. I greatly enjoy the 
beautiful expanse of this visible world, which is 



264 LUDOVICO CORNARO. 

really beautiful to those who know how to view it 
with a philosophic eye. O, thrice-holy Sobriety, 
thou hast conferred such favors on thine old man, 
that he better relishes his dry bread, than he did 
the most dainty dishes in the days of his youth ! 
My spirits, not oppressed by too much food, are 
always brisk, especially after eating ; so that I am 
accustomed then to sing a song, and afterward to 
write. I do not find myself the worse for writing 
immediately after meals ; I am not apt to be 
drowsy, and my understanding is always clearer, 
the food I take being too small in quantity to send 
up any fumes into my brain. O, how advantageous 
it is to an old man to eat but little ! " 

In a letter to a friend, written when he was 
ninety-one, the old man rejoices over his vigor and 
friskiness, as a boy does over his exploits on the 
ice. He says : " The more I advance in years, 
the sounder and heartier I grow, to the amazement 
of the world. My memory, spirits, and under- 
standing, and even my voice and my teeth, remain 
unimpaired. I employ eight hours a day in writing 
treatises with my own hand ; and when I tell you 
that I write to be useful to mankind, ' you may 
easily conceive what pleasure I enjoy. I spend 
many hours daily in walking and singing. And 
O, how melodious my voice has grown ! Were 
you to hear me chant my prayers to my lyre, after 
the example of David, I am certain it would give 
you great pleasure, my voice is so musical." 



LUDOVICO CORNARO. 265 

In an essay, entitled, " An Earnest Exhorta- 
tion," he says : " Arrived at my ninety-fifth year, 
I still find myself sound and hearty, content and 
cheerful. I eat with good appetite, and sleep 
soundly. My understanding is clear, and my 
memory tenacious. I write seven or eight hours 
a day, walk, converse, and occasionally attend 
concerts. My voice, which is apt to be the first 
thing to fail, grows so strong and sonorous, that I 
cannot help chanting my prayers aloud, morning 
and evening, instead of murmuring them to myself, 
as was formerly my custom. Apprehensions of 
death do not disturb my mind, for I have no sens- 
uality to nourish such thoughts. I have reason to 
think that my soul, having so agreeable a dwelling 
in my body, as not to meet with anything in it but 
peace, love, and harmony, not only between its 
humors, but between my reason and my senses, is 
exceedingly contented and pleased with her present 
situation, and that, of course, it will require many 
years to dislodge her. Whence I conclude that I 
have still a series of years to live in health and 
spirits, and enjoy this beautiful world, which is in- 
deed beautiful to those who know how to make it 
so by virtue and divine regularity of life. If men 
would betake themselves to a sober, regular, and 
abstemious course of life, they would not grow in- 
firm in their old age, but would continue strong 
and hearty as I am, and might attain to a hundred 

years and upwards, as I expect will be my case. 
12 



266 LUDOVICO CORNARO. 

God has ordained that whoever reaches his natural 
term should end his days without sickness or pain, 
by mere dissolution. This is the natural way of 
quitting mortal life to enter upon immortality, as 
will be my case." 

Once only, in the course of his long life, did 
Cornaro depart from the strict rules he had laid 
down for himself. When he w T as seventy-eight 
years old, his physician and family united in urg- 
ing him to take more nutrition ; saying, that he 
required it to keep up his strength, now that he 
was growing so old. He argued that habit had 
become with him a second nature, and that it was 
unsafe to change ; moreover, that as the stomach 
grew more feeble, it was reasonable to suppose 
that it ought to have less work to do, rather than 
more. But as they continued to remonstrate, he 
finally consented to add a little to his daily portion 
of food and wine. He says : " In eight days, this 
had such an effect upon me, that from being 
cheerful and brisk, I began to be peevish and 
melancholy, so that nothing could please me. I 
was so strangely disposed, that I neither knew 
what to say to others, nor what to do with my- 
self." The result was a terrible fever, which 
lasted thirty-five days, and reduced him almost to 
a skeleton. He attributes his recovery to the 
abstinence he had practised for so many years. 
" During all which time," says he, " I never knew 
what sickness was ; unless it might be some slight 



LUDOVICO CORNARO. 267 

indisposition, that continued merely for a day or 
two." He gives it, as the result of his long ex- 
perience, that it is well for people, as they become 
aged, to diminish the quantity of solid food. He 
also advises that such nourishment as they take 
should be less at any one time, and taken more fre- 
quently. 

Never had longevity such a zealous panegyrist 
as this venerable Italian. He says : " Some sens- 
ual, inconsiderate persons affirm that long life is 
not a blessing ; that the state of a man who has 
passed his seventy-fifth year does not deserve to be 
called life, but is rather a lingering death. This is 
a great mistake. And I, who have experienced 
the salutary effects of temperate, regular habits, 
am bound to prove that a man may enjoy a ter- 
restrial paradise after he is eighty years old. My 
own existence, so far from being a lingering death, 
is a perpetual round of pleasures ; and it is my 
sincere wish that all men would endeavor to attain 
my age, in order that they also may enjoy that 
period of life which of all others is the most de- 
sirable. For that reason I will give an account 
of my recreations, and of the relish I find in life 
at its present advanced stage. I can climb my 
horse without any assistance, or advantage of 
situation, and now and then I make one of a 
hunting party suitable to my age and taste. I 
have frequent opportunities to converse with in- 
telligent, worthy gentlemen, well acquainted with 



268 LUDOVICO CORNARO. 

» 

literature. When I have not such conversation to 
enjoy, I betake myself to reading some good book. 
When I have read as much as I like, I write, 
endeavoring in this, as in everything else, to be of 
service to others. This I do in my own com- 
modious house, in the most beautiful quarter of 
this noble and learned city of Padua, and around 
it are gardens supplied with running waters, where 
I always find something to do that amuses me. 
Every spring and autumn I go to a handsome 
hunting-lodge, belonging to me, in the Euganean 
mountains, which is also adorned with fountains 
and gardens. Then I visit my village in the plain, 
the soil of which I redeemed from the marshes. 
I visit neighboring cities, to meet old friends, and 
to converse with architects, painters, sculptors, 
musicians, and husbandmen, from all of whom I 
learn something that gives me satisfaction. I 
visit their new works, and I revisit their old ones. 
I see churches, palaces, gardens, fortifications, 
and antiquities, leaving nothing unobserved from 
which either entertainment or instruction can be 
derived. But what delights me most is the sce- 
nery I pass through, in my journeys backwards 
and forwards. When I was young, and debauched 
by an irregular life, I did not observe the beauties 
of nature ; so that I never knew, till I grew old, 
that the world was beautiful. That no comfort 
may be wanting to the fulness of my years, 1 
enjoy a kind of immortality in a succession of 



LUDOVICO CORNARO. 269 

descendants. When I return home from my jour- 
neys, I am greeted by eleven grandchildren, the 
oldest eighteen, the youngest two years old ; all 
the offspring of one father and mother. They 
all have good parts and morals, are blessed with 
the best of health, and fond of learning. I play 
with the youngest, and make companions of the 
older ones. Nature has bestowed on them fine 
voices. I delight in hearing them sing and play 
on various instruments, and I myself sing with 
them, for I have a clearer and louder pipe now 
than at any other period of life. Such gayety of 
spirits has been imparted by my temperate life, 
that at my present age of eighty-three I have been 
able to write a very entertaining comedy, abound- 
ing with innocent mirth and pleasant jests. I de- 
clare I would not exchange my gray hairs, or 
my mode of living, with any young men, even of 
the best constitutions, who seek pleasure through 
the indulgence of their appetites. I take an in- 
terest in seeing the draining of marshes and the 
improvement of the harbor going on, and it is a 
great comfort to me that my treatises on a tem- 
perate life have proved useful to others, as many 
have assured me, both by word of mouth, and by 
letter. I may further add, that I enjoy two lives 
at once. I enjoy this terrestrial life, in consequence 
of sobriety and temperance ; and, by the grace of 
God, I enjoy the celestial life, which he makes 
me anticipate by thought, — a thought so lively, 



270 LUDOVICO CORNARO. 

that I affirm the enjoyment to be of the utmost 
certainty. To die in the manner that I expect to 
die is not really death, but merely a passage of the 
soul from this earthly life to an infinitely perfect 
existence. The prospect of terminating the high 
gratifications I have enjoyed here gives me no 
uneasiness ; it rather affords me pleasure, as it will 
be only to make room for another glorious and 
immortal life. How beautiful the life I lead ! 
How happy my exit ! " 

His prophecy proved true. He lived to be one 
hundred and four years old, and passed away with- 
out pain, sitting in his elbow-chair. His wife, 
who was nearly as old as himself, survived 
him but a short time, and died easily. 
They were buried in St. Anthony's 
Church, at Padua, in a very 
unostentatious manner, ac- 
cording to their tes- 
tamentary di- 
rections. 



When Dr. Priestley was young, he preached 
that old age was the happiest period of life ; and 
when he was himself eighty, he wrote, " I have 
found it so." 



ROBIN AND JEANNIE 



By DORA GREENWELL. 



a 



DO you think of the days that are gone, Jeannie, 
As you sit by the fire at night ? 
Do you wish that the morn would bring back the time, 
When your heart and your step were so light ? " 

" I think of the days that are gone, Robin, 

And of all that I joyed in then ; 
But the brightest that ever arose on me, 

I have never wished back again." 

" Do you think of the hopes that are gone, Jeannie, 

As you sit by the fire at night ? 
Do you gather them up, as they faded fast, 

Like buds with an early blight ? " 

" I think of the hopes that are gone, Robin, 

And I mourn not their stay was fleet, 
For they fell as the leaves of the roses fall, 

And were even in falling sweet." 



272 ROBIN AND JEANNIE. 

" Do you think of the friends that are gone, Jeannie, 

As you sit by the fire at night ? 
Do you wish they were round you again once more, 

By the hearth that they made so bright ? " 

" I think of the friends that are gone, Robin ; 

They are dear to my heart as then ; 
But the best and the dearest among them all 

I have never wished back again." 



u We have lived and loved together, 
Through many changing years ; 
We have shared each other's gladness, 
We have wept each other's tears. 

" I have never known a sorrow 

That was long unsoothed by thee ; 
For thy smile can make a summer, 
Where darkness else would be. 

" And let us hope the future 

As the past has been, will be ; 
I will share with thee thy sorrows, 
And thou thy smiles with me." 

Anonymous. 




A GOOD OLD AGE. 



FROM MOUNTFORD S EUTHANASY. 




GOOD old age is a beautiful sight, and 
there is nothing earthly that is as noble, 
— in my eyes, at least. And so I have 
often thought. A ship is a fine object, 
when it comes up into a port, with all its sails set, 
and quite safely, from a long voyage. Many a 
thousand miles it has come, with the sun for guid- 
ance, and the sea for its path, and the winds for its 
speed. What might have been its grave, a thou- 
sand fathoms deep, has yielded it a ready way ; 
and winds that might have been its wreck have 
been its service. It has come from another me- 
ridian than ours ; it has come through day and 
night ; it has come by reefs and banks that have 
been avoided, and past rocks that have been 
watched for. Not a plank has started, nor one 
timber in it proved rotten. And now it comes 
like an answer to the prayers of many hearts ; a 
delight to the owner, a joy to many a sailor's 
family, and a pleasure to all ashore, that see it. 

12* R 



274 A GOOD OLD AGE. 

It has been steered over the ocean, and been pilot- 
ed through dangers, and now it is safe. 

But still more interesting than this is a good life, 
as it approaches its threescore years and ten. It 
began in the century before the present ; it has 
lasted on through storms and sunshine ; and it has 
been guarded against many a rock, on which ship- 
wreck of a good conscience might have been made. 
On the course it has taken, there has been the 
influence of Providence ; and it has been guided 
by Christ, that day-star from on high. Yes, old 
age is even a nobler sight than a ship completing a 
long, long voyage. 

On a summer's evening, the setting sun is grand 
to look at. In his morning beams, the birds awoke 
and sang, men rose for their work, and the world 
grew light. In his mid-day heat, wheat-fields grew 
yellower, and fruits were ripened, and a thousand 
natural purposes were answered, which we mortals 
do not know T of. And at his setting, all things 
seem to grow harmonious and solemn in his light. 

But what is all this to the sight of a good life, 
in those years that go down into the grave ? In 
the early days of it, old events had their happen- 
ing ; with the light of it many a house has been 
brightened ; and under the good influence of it, 
souls have grown better, some of whom are now 
on high. And then the closing period of such a 
life, — how almost awful is the beauty of it ! From 
his setting, the sun will rise again to-morrow ; and 
he will shine on men and their work, and on chil- 



A GOOD OLD AGE. 275 

dren's children and their labors. But when once 

finished, even a good life has no renewal in this 

world. It will begin again ; but it will be in 

a new earth, and under new heavens. 

Yes, nobler than a ship safely 

ending a long voyage, and 

sublimer than the setting 

sun, is the old age of 

a just, a kind, 

and useful 

life. 

r 



A good old man is the best antiquity ; one 
whom time hath been thus long a working, and, 
like winter fruit, ripened when others are shaken 
down. He looks over his former life as a danger 
well past, and would not hazard himself to begin 
again. The next door of death saps him not, but 
he expects it calmly, as his turn in nature. All 
men look on him as a common father, and on old 
age, for his sake, as a reverent thing. He prac- 
tises his experience on youth, without harshness 
or reproof, and in his council is good company. 
You must pardon him if he likes his own times 
better than these, because those things are follies 
to him now, that were wisdom then ; yet he makes 
us of that opinion, too, when we see him, and con- 
jecture those times by so good a relic. — Bishop 
Earle. 



MY PSALM. 

By JOHN G. WHITTIER. 

I MOURN no more my vanished years 
Beneath a tender rain, — 
An April rain of smiles and tears, — 
My heart is young again. 

The west winds blow, and, singing low, 
I hear the glad streams run ; 

The windows of my soul I throw 
Wide open to the sun. 

No longer forward nor behind 

I look in hope or fear ; 
But, grateful, take the good I find, 

The best of now and here. 

I plough no more a desert land, 

To harvest weed and tare ; 
The manna dropping from God's hand 

Rebukes my painful care. 

I break my pilgrim staff, I lay 

Aside the toiling oar ; 
The angel sought so far away, 

I welcome at my door. 



MY PSALM. 277 

The airs of Spring may never play 

Among the ripening corn, 
Nor freshness of the flowers of May 

Blow through the Autumn morn ; — 

Yet shall the blue-eyed Gentian look 

Through fringed lids to Heaven, 
And the pale Aster in the brook 

Shall see its image given ; — 

The woods shall wear their robes of praise, 

The south-wind softly sigh ; 
And sweet, calm days, in golden haze, 

Melt down the amber sky. 

Not less shall manly deed and word 

Rebuke an age of wrong ; 
The graven flowers that wreathe the sword 

Make not the blade less strong. 

But smiting hands shall learn to heal, 

To build, as to destroy ; 
Nor less my heart for others feel, 

That I the more enjoy. 

All as God wills, who wisely heeds 

To give or to withhold, 
And knoweth more of all my needs 

Than all my prayers have told. 

Enough that blessings undeserved 

Have marked my erring track, — 
That, wheresoe'er my feet have swerved, 

His chastening turned me back, — 



278 MY PSALM. 

That more and more a Providence 

Of love is understood, 
Making the springs of time and sense 

Sweet with eternal good, — 

That death seems but a covered way 

Which opens into light, 
Wherein no blinded child can stray 

Beyond the Father's sight, — 

That care and trial seem at last, 
Through Memory's sunset air, 

Like mountain-ranges, overpast, 
In purple distance fair, — 

That all the jarring notes of life 
Seem blending in a psalm, 

And all the angles of its strife 
Slow rounding into calm. 

And so the shadows fall apart, 
And so the west winds play ; 

And all the windows of my heart 
I open to the day. 



Over the winter glaciers, 

I see the summer glow, 
And, through the wild piled snow-drift, 

The warm rosebuds below. 

E. W. Emerson. 



\ 



JOHN HENRY VON DANNECKER. 

DERIVED FROM MRS. JAMESON'S SKETCHES, LONGFELLOW'S 
HYPERION, AND FROM VARIOUS EUROPEAN LETTERS. 




HIS celebrated German sculptor was 



born in 1758, at Stuttgard. His fa- 
ther, who was one of the grooms of the 
% Duke of Wiirtemberg, was a stupid, 
harsh man. He thought it sufficient for his son to 
know how to work in the stable ; and how the 
gifted boy contrived to pick up the rudiments of 
reading and writing, he could not remember in 
after life. He had an extraordinary passion for 
drawing, and being too poor to buy paper and 
pencils, he used to scrawl figures with charcoal on 
the slabs of a neighboring stone-cutter. When his 
father discovered this, he beat him for his idleness ; 
but his mother interfered to protect him. After 
he arrived at manhood, he was accustomed to speak 
of her with the utmost tenderness and reverence ; 



saying that her promptings were the first softening 
and elevating influences he ever knew. His bright 
countenance and alert ways sometimes attracted 



280 JOHN HENRY VON DANNECKER. 

the notice of the Duke, who saw him running 
about the precincts of the palace, ragged and bare- 
foot ; but he was far enough from foreseeing the 
wonderful genius that would be developed in this 
child of one of his meanest servants. 

When John Henry was about thirteen years old, 
the Duke established a military school, into which 
poor boys, who manifested sufficient intelligence, 
might be admitted. As soon as he heard of this 
opportunity, he eagerly announced the intention 
of presenting himself as a candidate. His surly 
father became very angry at this, and told him he 
should stay at home and work. When the lad 
persisted in saying he wanted to get a chance to 
learn something, he beat him and locked him up. 
The persevering boy jumped out of the window, 
collected several of his comrades together, and pro- 
posed to them to go to the Duke and ask to be 
admitted into his school. The whole court hap- 
pened to be assembled at the palace when the little 
troop marched up. Being asked by one of the 
attendants what they wanted, Dannecker replied, 
" Tell his Highness the Duke that we want to be 
admitted to the Charles School." The Duke, who 
was amused by this specimen of juvenile earnest- 
ness, went out to inspect the boys. He led aside 
one after another, till only Dannecker and two 
others remained. He used to say afterward that 
he supposed himself rejected, and suffered such an 
agony of shame, that he was on the point of run- 



JOHN HENRY VON DANNECKER. 281 

ning away and hiding himself, when he discovered 
that those who had been led aside were the rejected 
ones. The Duke ordered the successful candidates 
to go next morning to the school, and dismissed 
them. The father did not dare to resist such high 
authority, but he was so enraged with his son, that 
he turned him out of the house and forbade him 
ever to enter it again. But his good mother 
packed up a little bundle of necessaries for him, 
accompanied him some distance on the road, and 
parted with him with tears and blessings. 

He did not find himself well situated in this 
school. The teachers were accustomed to employ 
the poorer boys as servants, and he was kept so 
constantly at work, that what little he learned was 
mostly accomplished by stealth. But he met with 
one piece of great good fortune. Schiller, who 
afterward became world-renowned as a writer, was 
at this school. The two boys recognized kindred 
genius in each other, and formed a friendship 
which lasted through life. When he was fifteen 
years old, his remarkable talent for drawing caused 
him to be removed to the School of Art in Stutt- 
gard, where he received instruction from Grubel, 
the sculptor. The next year, he obtained the 
highest prize for a statue of Milo, modelled in clay. 
The Duke, who had forgotten the bright, ragged 
boy that formerly attracted his attention, was aston- 
ished to hear he had carried off the highest honors 
of the School of Art. He employed him to carve 



282 JOHN HENRY VON DANNECKER. 

cornices and ornaments for two new palaces he was 
building. Ten years were thus spent, during 
which he acquired a great deal of mere mechanical 
skill and dexterity. But he longed to improve 
himself by the sight of noble models ; and at last 
he obtained leave to travel. The allowance granted 
him by his ducal patron was only one hundred and 
twenty dollars a year. With this he set off for 
Paris, where he studied in the galleries of the 
Louvre, often going the whole day without food, 
and in a dress too shabby to be considered respect- 
able. Those who saw him thus perseveringly em- 
ployed, passed by without recognizing the divine 
soul that dwelt within the forlorn exterior. He 
afterward went to Rome, where for some months, 
he wandered about among monuments and ruins, 
friendless and homesick. But luckily his illustrious 
countrymen, Herder and Goethe were there. He 
was introduced to them, and their conversation 
imbued him with higher ideas of Art than he 
had ever before received. The celebrated Italian 
sculptor, Canova, also became acquainted with 
him, and often visited him in his studio. There 
was but a year's difference in their ages, and their 
friendship became intimate. He remained five 
years in Rome, and distinguished himself by the 
production of several fine statues. He then re- 
turned to his native country, where he married. 
At fifty years of age he was considered the greatest 
sculptor in Germany. The Grand Duke ennobled 



JOHN HENRY VON DANNECKER. 283 

nim, as the phrase is ; though it seems absurd 
enough that wearing a ribbon in his button-hole, 
and being allowed to put von before the name his 
genius had rendered illustrious, could add any 
nobility to a man like Dannecker. 

His two most celebrated works are Ariadne 
riding on a panther, and his statue of Christ. 
The circumstances under which the latter was 
produced are very peculiar. Dannecker was a 
devout Lutheran, and he often meditated upon 
a statue of the Mediator between God and man 
as the highest problem of Art. He sought to 
embody it, but felt that something was wanting. 
A child, who was accustomed to run about his 
studio, came in while he was at his work. " Who 
do you think that is ? " said the artist, pointing to 
his model. The child looked, and replied : " I 
don't know ; I guess it is some great king." Ah, 
thought Dannecker, I have made the expression 
of power to predominate over love. The search 
after a perfect ideal of the Divine and human 
combined took complete possession of his mind. 
Filled with such thoughts, he fell asleep and 
dreamed of a face and form transcending anything 
he had conceived. He hastened to model it in 
clay, while the vision was still fresh in his mind. 
When it was shown to the child, he at once ex- 
claimed, " That is the Redeemer. Mother reads 
to me about him, where he says, ' Suffer little 
children to come unto me.' " This confirmed 



284 JOHN HENRY VON DANNECKER. 

Dannecker in the belief that he had been directly 
inspired from above. Others regarded it as a 
dream produced by the intense activity of his 
thoughts concentrated upon one subject ; but he 
always viewed it as an immediate revelation. He 
was fifty-eight years old when this sublime vision 
was presented to him in his sleep, and for eight 
years he devoted to it all the energies of mind and 
heart. He studied the Scriptures intently, and 
prayed for Divine assistance. His enthusiasm was 
a compound of Religion and Art. Under this 
combined influence, he said he felt as if he were 
pursued by some irresistible power, which visited 
him in his sleep, and often compelled him to rise 
in the night and embody the ideas which had been 
presented to him. When he was sixty-six years 
old, the glorious statue was completed. It is 
clothed in a simple robe reaching to the feet. The 
hair is parted on the forehead, and falls in ringlets 
over the shoulders. The head is purely moral 
and intellectual in its outline. One hand is pressed 
upon the bosom, the other extended, and the lips 
are partially unclosed, as if in the act of speaking. 
The expression is said to be a remarkable com- 
bination of majesty and tenderness, exciting invol- 
untary reverence in all who look upon it. 

Mrs. Jameson visited Dannecker in 1830. The 
statue was still standing in his studio. She says : 
" He told me that the figure had visited him in a 
dream three several times, and that he firmly 



JOHN HENRY VON DANNECKER. 285 

believed he had been predestined to the work, and 
divinely inspired. I shall not easily forget the 
countenance of the good and gifted old man, as he 
leaned on the pedestal, with his cap in his hand, 
and his long gray hair waving round his face, 
looking up at his work with a mixture of rever- 
ence and exultation." 

This remarkable statue was purchased by the 
Emperor Alexander, and is now in Russia. A 
year after its completion, he made a colossal statue 
of the Evangelist John, for the royal chapel at 
Rothenberg. He had for many years been Pro- 
fessor of the Fine Arts at the Academy in Stutt- 
gard, and the instructions he was obliged to give 
there, combined with the labors of his studio, kept 
him very constantly occupied. Mrs. Jameson 
again visited him in 1833, when he was seventy- 
five years old. She says : " A change had come 
over him. His trembling hand could no longer 
grasp the mallet or guide the chisel. His fine 
benevolent countenance wore a childish smile, and 
was only now and then crossed by a gleam of 
awakened memory or thought. Yet he seemed 
perfectly happy. He walked backward and for- 
ward from his statue of Christ to his bust of 
Schiller, with an unwearied self-complacency, in 
which there was something mournful, yet delight- 
ful. While I was looking at the magnificent head 
of Schiller, he took my hand, and trembling with 
emotion, said, c We were friends from boyhood. 



286 JOHN HENRY VON DANNECKER. 

I worked upon it with love and grief; and one 
can do no more.' I took leave of Dannecker with 
emotion. I shall never see him again. But he is 
one of those who cannot die. Canova, after he 
was a melancholy invalid, visited his studio, and 
was so much struck by his childlike simplicity, 
his pure, unworldly nature, his genuine goodness, 
and lively, happy temperament, that he gave him 
the surname of II JBeato, The Blessed. And 
surely if that epithet can with propriety be be- 
stowed upon any mortal, jt is on him whose long 
life has been one of labor and of love ; who has 
left behind him lasting memorials of his genius ; 
who has never profaned to any unworthy purpose 
the talents which God has given him, but, in the 
midst of all the beautiful and exciting influences 
of Poetry and Art, has kept, from youth to age, a 
soul serene, a conscience and a life pure in the 
sight of God and man." 

Longfellow, in his prose-poem called " Hyperi- 
on, " thus introduces the renowned German artist, 
on a calm Sabbath forenoon : — " Flemming stole 
out into the deserted street, and went to visit the 
veteran sculptor Dannecker. He found him in 
his parlor, sitting alone, with his psalm-book and 
the reminiscences of his long life. As Flemming 
entered, he arose from the sofa and tottered to- 
ward him ; a venerable old man, of low stature, 
and dressed in a loose white jacket, with a face 
like Franklin's, his white hair flowing over his 
shoulders, and a pale blue eye. 



JOHN HENRY VON DANNECKER. 287 

" 4 So you are from America,' said he. ' I have 
never been in America. I shall never go there. 
I am now too old. I have been in Paris and in 
Rome. But that was long ago. I am now sev- 
enty-eight years old.' 

" He took Flemming by the hand, and made him 
sit by his side on the sofa. And Flemming felt a 
mysterious awe creep over him, on touching the 
hand of the good old man, who sat so serenely 
amid the gathering shade of years, and listened to 
life's curfew-bell, telling, with eight and seventy 
solemn strokes, that the hour had come, when the 
fires of all earthly passion must be quenched with- 
in, and man must prepare to lie down and rest till 
morning. 

44 ' You see,' he continued, ' my hands are cold. 
They were warmer once. I am now an old man.' 

" ' Yet these are the hands that sculptured the 
beautiful Ariadne and the Panther,' replied Flem- 
ming. ' The soul never grows old.' 

44 4 Nor does Nature,' said the old man, pleased 
with this allusion to his great work, and pointing to 
the green trees before his window. 4 This pleas- 
ure I have left to me. My sight is still good. I 
can even distinguish objects on the side of yonder 
mountain. My hearing is also unimpaired. For 
all which I thank God.' 

44 Directing Flemming's attention to a fine engrav- 
ing which hung on the opposite wall of the room, 
he continued : 4 That is an engraving of Canova's 



288 JOHN HENRY VON DANNECKER. 

Religion. I love to sit here and look at it, for 
hours together. It is beautiful. He made the 
statue for his native town, where they had no 
church, until he built them one. He placed the 
statue in it. He sent me this engraving as a pres- 
ent. Ah, he was a dear, good man ! The name 
of his native town I have forgotten. My memory 
fails me. I cannot remember names.' 

" Fearful that he had disturbed the old man in 
his morning devotions, Flemming did not remain 
long ; but he took his leave with regret. There 
was something impressive in the scene he had 
witnessed ; — this beautiful old age of the artist ; 
sitting by the open window, in the bright summer 
morning ; the labor of life accomplished ; the hori- 
zon reached, where heaven and earth meet ; think- 
ing it was angel's music when he heard the church 
bells ring ; himself too old to go. As he walked 
back to his chamber, he thought within himself 
whether he likewise might not accomplish some- 
thing which should live after him ; — might not 
bring something permanent out of this fast-fleeting 
life of man, and then sit down, like the artist, in 
serene old age, and fold his hands in silence. He 
wondered how a man felt when he grew so old, 
that .he could no longer go to church, but must sit 
at home, and read the Bible in large print. His 
heart was full of indefinite longings, mingled with 
regrets ; longings to accomplish something worthy 
of life ; regret that as yet he had accomplished 



JOHN HENRY VON DANNECKER. 289 

nothing, but had felt and dreamed only. Thus 
the warm days in spring bring forth passion- 
flowers and forget-me-nots. It is only after mid- 
summer, when the days grow shorter and hotter, 
that fruit begins to appear. Then the heat of 
the day brings forward the harvest ; and after the 
harvest, the leaves fall, and there is a gray frost.' ' 
Dannecker lived eighty-five years. His last 
drawing, done when he was extremely old, rep- 
resented an angel guiding an aged man 
from the grave, and pointing to him 
the opening heaven. It was 
a beautiful occupation to 
console the last days of 
this trulv Chris- 
tian artist's 
life. 



When a good man dies, — one that hath lived 
innocently, — then the joys break forth through 
the clouds of sickness, and the conscience stands 
upright, and confesses the glories of God, and 
owns so much integrity that it can hope for par- 
don and obtain it too. Then the sorrows of sick- 
ness do but untie the soul from its chain, and let it 
go forth, first into liberty and then into glory. 

Jeremy Taylor. 
13 s 



THE KITTEN AND THE FALLING 

LEAVES. 

By WILLIAM WORDSWORTH. 



THAT way look, my infant, lo ! 
What a pretty baby-show ! 
See the kitten on the wall, 
Sporting with the leaves that fall ! 
Withered leaves — one, two, and three — 
From the lofty Elder-tree ! 
— See the kitten ! how she starts, 
Crouches, stretches, paws, and darts, 
First at one, and then its fellow, 
Just as light and just as yellow ! 
Such a light of gladness breaks, 
Pretty kitten, from thy freaks, 
Spreads, with such a living grace, 
O'er my little Laura's face ! 
Yes, the sight so stirs and charms 
Thee, baby, laughing in my arms, 
That almost I could repine 
That your transports are not mine ; 
That I do not wholly fare 
Even as ye do, thoughtless pair ! 



THE KITTEN AND THE LEAVES. 291 

And I will have my careless season, 

Spite of melancholy reason ; 

Will walk through life in such a way, 

That, when time brings on decay, 

Now and then I may possess 

Hours of perfect gladsomeness. 

— Pleased by any random toy ; 

By a kitten's busy joy, 

Or an infant's laughing eye, 

Sharing in the ecstasy. 

I would fare like that, or this ; 

Find my wisdom in my bliss ; 

Keep the sprightly soul awake ; 

And have faculties to take, 

Even from things by sorrow wrought, 

Matter for a jocund thought ; 

Spite of care and spite of grief, 

To gambol with Life's falling leaf. 



His sixty summers — what are they in truth ? 
By Providence peculiarly blest, 
With him the strong hilarity of youth 
Abides, despite gray hairs, a constant guest. 
His sun has veered a point toward the west, 
But light as dawn his heart is glowing yet, — 
That heart the simplest, gentlest, kindliest, best, 
Where truth and manly tenderness are met 
With faith and heavenward hope, the suns that never set. 

Henry Taylor. 



DR. DODDRIDGE'S DREAM. 




ff R. DODDRIDGE was on terms of 
very intimate friendship with Dr. Sam- 
uel Clarke, and in religious conversation 
they spent many happy hours together. 
Among other matters, a very favorite topic was 
the intermediate state of the soul, and the proba- 
bility that at the instant of dissolution it was not 
introduced into the presence of all the heavenly 
hosts, and the splendors around the throne of God. 
One evening, after a conversation of this nature, 
Dr. Doddridge retired to rest with his mind full 
of the subject discussed, and, in the ' visions of 
the night,' his ideas were shaped into the follow- 
ing beautiful form. He dreamed that he was at 
the house of a friend, when he was suddenly 
taken dangerously ill. By degrees he seemed to 
grow worse, and at last to expire. In an instant 
he was sensible that he exchanged the prison- 
house and sufferings of mortality for a state of 
liberty and happiness. Embodied in a splendid 
aerial form, he seemed to float in a region of pure 



DR. DODDRIDGE'S DREAM. 293 

light. Beneath him lay the earth ; but not a 
glittering city or village, the forest or the sea, was 
visible. There was naught to be seen below save 
the melancholy group of friends, weeping around 
his lifeless remains. 

Himself thrilled with delight, he was surprised 
at their tears, and attempted to inform them of 'his 
change ; but, by some mysterious power, utter- 
ance was denied ; and, as he anxiously leaned over 
the mourning circle, gazing fondly upon them, and 
struggling to speak, he rose silently upon the air ; 
their forms became more and more distant, and 
gradually melted away from his sight. Repos- 
ing upon golden clouds, he found himself swiftly 
mounting the skies, with a venerable figure at 
his side guiding his mysterious movement, in 
whose countenance he remarked the lineaments 
of youth and age were blended together with an 
intimate harmony and majestic sweetness. They 
travelled through a vast region of empty space, 
until at length the battlements of a glorious edifice 
shone in the distance ; and as its form rose brilliant 
and distinct among the far-off shadows that flitted 
across their path, the guide informed him, that the 
palace he beheld was for the present to be his 
mansion of rest. Gazing upon its splendor, he 
replied, that while on earth he had heard that eve 
had not seen, nor had the ear heard, nor could it 
enter into the heart of man to conceive, the things 
which God had prepared for those who love him • 



294 DR. DODDRIDGE'S DREAM. 

but, notwithstanding the building to which they 
were then rapidly approaching was superior to 
anything he had ever before seen, yet its grandeur 
did not exceed the conceptions he had formed. 

They were already at the door, and the guide, 
without reply, introduced him into a spacious 
apartment, at the extremity of which stood a table 
covered with a snow-white cloth, a golden cup, 
and a cluster of grapes, and there he said he must 
remain, for he would receive in a short time a 
visit from the Lord of the mansion, and that, 
during the interval before his arrival, the apart- 
ment would furnish him with sufficient entertain- 
ment and instruction. The guide vanished, and 
he was left alone. He began to examine the 
decorations of the room, and observed that the 
walls were adorned with a number of pictures. 
Upon nearer inspection, he found, to his astonish- 
ment, that they formed a complete biography of 
his own life. Here he saw, upon the canvas, that 
angels, though unseen, had ever been his familiar 
attendants ; that, sent by God, they had sometimes 
preserved him from immediate peril. He beheld 
himself first as an infant just expiring, when his 
life was prolonged by an angel gently breathing 
into his nostrils. Most of the occurrences here 
delineated were perfectly familiar to his recollec- 
tion, and unfolded many things which he had 
never before understood, and which had perplexed 
him with many doubts and much uneasiness. 



DR. DODDRIDGE'S DREAM. 295 

Among others, he was particularly struck with a 
picture in which he was represented as falling 
from his horse, when death would have been in- 
evitable, had not an angel received him in his 
arms, and broken the force of his descent. These 
merciful interpositions of God filled him with joy 
and gratitude ; and his heart overflowed with love 
as he surveyed in them all an exhibition of good- 
ness and mercy far beyond all that he had 
imagined. 

Suddenly his attention was arrested by a rap at 
the door. The Lord of the mansion had arrived. 
The door opened and he entered. So powerful 
and so overwhelming, and withal of such singular 
beauty, was his appearance, that he sank down 
at his feet, completely overcome by his majestic 
presence. His Lord gently raised him from the 
ground, and taking his hands led him forward to 
the table. He pressed with his fingers the juice 
of the grapes into the cup, and after having drank 
himself, presented it to him, saying, " This is the 
new wine in my Father's kingdom." No sooner 
had he partaken, than all uneasy sensations van- 
ished. Perfect love had cast out fear, and he 
conversed with his Saviour as an intimate friend. 
Like the silver rippling of the summer sea, he 
heard fall from his lips the grateful approbation : 
" Thy labors are over ; thy work is approved ; 
rich and glorious is thy reward." Thrilled with 
an unspeakable bliss, that glided into the very 



296 DR. DODDRIDGE'S DREAM. 

depth of his soul, he suddenly saw glories upon 
glories bursting upon his view. The Doctor 
awoke. Tears of rapture from this joyful inter- 
view were rolling down his cheeks. Long 
did the lively impressions of this charm- 
ing dream remain upon his mind, 
and never could he speak 
of it without emotions 
of joy and ten- 
derness. 

r 



Death can only take away the sorrowful from 
our affections. The flower expands ; the colorless 
film that enveloped it falls off and perishes. We 
may well believe this ; and, believing it, let us 
cease to be disquieted for their absence, who have 
but retired into another chamber. We are like 
those who have overslept the hour : when we 
rejoin our friends, there is only the more joyance 
and congratulation. Would we break a precious 
vase because it is as capable of containing the 
bitter as the sweet ? No : the very things which 
touch us the most sensibly are those which we 
should be the most reluctant to forget. The no- 
ble mansion is most distinguished by the beautiful 
images it retains of beings passed away ; and so is 

the noble mind. 

Walter Savage Landok. 



THE OLD PSALM-TUNE. 

Br HARRIET BEECHER STOWE. 

YOU asked, dear friend, the other day, 
Why still my charmed ear 
Rejoiceth in uncultured tone 
That old psalm-tune to hear. 

I Ve heard full oft, in foreign lands, 

The grand orchestral strain, 
Where music's ancient masters live, 

Revealed on earth again : 

Where breathing, solemn instruments, 

In swaying clouds of sound, 
Bore up the yearning, tranced soul, 

Like silver wings around ; — 

I Ve heard in old St. Peter's dome, 

When clouds of incense rise, 
Most ravishing the choral swell 

Mount upward to the skies. 

And well I feel the magic power, 

When skilled and cultured art 
Its cunning webs of sweetness weaves 

Around the captured heart. 
13* 



298 THE OLD PSALM-TUNE. 

But yet, dear friend, though rudely sung, 
That old psalm-tune hath still 

A pulse of power beyond them all 
My inmost soul to thrill. 

Those tones, that halting sound to you, 

Are not the tones I hear ; 
But voices of the loved and lost 

Then meet my longing ear. 

I hear my angel mother's voice, — 
Those were the words she sung ; 

I hear my brother's ringing tones, 
As once on earth they rung ; 

And friends that walk in white above 
Come round me like a cloud, 

And far above those earthly notes 
Their singing sounds aloud. 

There may be discord, as you say ; 

Those voices poorly ring ; 
But there 's no discord in the strain 

Those upper spirits sing. 

For they who sing are of the blest, 

The calm and glorified, 
Whose hours are one eternal rest 

On heaven's sweet floating tide. 

Their life is music and accord ; 

Their souls and hearts keep time 
In one sweet concert with the Lord, — 

One concert vast, sublime. 



THE OLD PSALM-TUNE. 299 

And through the hymns they sang on earth 

Sometimes a sweetness falls, 
On those they loved and left below, 

And softly homeward calls. 

Bells from our own dear fatherland, 

Borne trembling o'er the sea — 
The narrow sea that they have crossed, 

The shores where we shall be. 

O sing, sing on ! beloved souls ; 

Sing cares and griefs to rest ; 
Sing, till entranced we arise 

To join you 'mid the blest. 



O, thus forever sing to me ! 
O, thus forever ! 
The green bright grass of childhood bun** to me 
Flowing like an emerald rive*y 
And the bright blue skies above ! 
O, sing them back as fresh as ever, 
Into the bosom of my love, — 
The sunshine and the merriment. 
The unsought, evergreen content. 
Of that never cold time, 
The joy, that, like a clear breeze, went 
Through and through the old time ! 

J. E. Lowell. 



THE LOST BOOKS OF LIVY. 



[It is well known that all the books of the Middle Ages were 
written by monks, and preserved in manuscript ; printing being 
then an unknown art. These patient scribes had plenty of lei- 
sure, and not unfrequently an eye for artistic beauty, especially in 
the gorgeous style. Hence many monastic manuscripts were 
richly illuminated, as the phrase is, with Initial Letters of silver 
or gold, often surrounded with quaint devices, painted in glowing 
tints of blue, crimson, and purple. Paper was not then invented, 
and parchment was scarce. Monks generally held Greeks and 
Romans in contempt, as heathen, and therefore did not scruple to 
supply themselves with writing material by erasing the produc- 
tions of classic authors. Early in the nineteenth century it was 
announced that Signor Maio, an Italian librarian, had discovered 
valuable Greek and Latin fragments concealed under monkish 
manuscripts, and that, by chemical processes, he could remove 
the later writing and bring the ancient to the surface. In this 
way, " The Republic," of Cicero, deemed one of his finest works, 
was brought out from under a Commentary of St. Augustine on 
the Psalms of David. Such parchments are called Palimpsests ; 
from two Greek words, which signify erased and re- written. The 
discovery was very exciting to the scholastic world, and many 
learned men entered into it with absorbing interest. Several of 
the books of Livy's lively and picturesque History of Rome are 
lost ; and it was a cherished hope among scholars that they 
might be discovered by this new process. This explanation is 







THE LOST BOOKS OF LIVY. 301 

necessary to help some readers to a right understanding of the 
following story, which is abridged and slightly varied from an 
English book, entitled, " Stories by an Archaeologist."] 

| Y dear friend, Dubois d'Erville, whose 
talents might have rendered him re- 
markable in any walk of literature, 
allowed the whole of his faculties to 
be absorbed in days, nights, years of research, 
upon one special point of literary interest. At 
school, he had become imbued with a love for 
classic authors, which, with regard to his favorite 
Livy, kindled into a passion. He sought eagerly 
for accounts of discoveries of lost works in pa- 
limpsest manuscripts. Finally, he relinquished all 
other objects of pursuit, and spent many years 
traversing Europe and Asia, visiting the public 
libraries and old monasteries, in search of ancient 
manuscripts. After a long time, when he was for- 
gotten by family, friends, and acquaintances, he 
returned to Paris. Little was known of his wan- 
derings ; but there was a rumor that he formed a 
romantic marriage, and that his devoted wife had 
travelled with him among the monasteries of Asia 
Minor, encountering many hardships and dangers. 
No one but himself knew where she died. 

When he returned to Paris, he brought with 
him an only child, a girl of nineteen. She had 
memorable beauty, and great intelligence ; but these 
were less noticed than her simple manners, and 
tender devotion to her father, whom she almost 



302 THE LOST BOOKS OF LIVY. 

adored. He took a suite of apartments in the 
third story of a house, which, before the Revolu- 
tion, had been the hotel of a nobleman, and sur- 
rounded by extensive gardens. It was in the old 
and solitary Rue Cassette. The gardens had been 
let out to cow-keepers ; but within the enclosure 
of the house remained some noble trees and flow- 
ering shrubs. These apartments had been selected 
by his daughter Marcelline, on account of the grace- 
ful branches of the old lime-trees, which reached 
close to the windows, and furnished a pleasant 
shade in summer, when birds chirped gayly among 
the green foliage. Even in winter, a robin would 
sometimes sing snatches of song, among the naked 
branches, as if in return for the crumbs which his 
pretty patroness never failed to place on the win- 
dow-sill. 

Beyond Marcelline's chamber was a little sitting- 
room, and then came a rather large apartment, 
where Dubois pursued his studies, surrounded 
with piles of old vellum, and dusty and worm- 
eaten manuscripts of all descriptions. The floor 
was thus littered in all directions, except in a small 
semicircle near one of the windows, where an open 
space was preserved for a few chairs and a table. 

They had but one servant, an old woman, who 
had been cook in Dubois's family in the days of his 
boyhood, and whom he accidentally met when he 
returned to Paris. Old Madeleine formed a pleas- 
ant link between the present and the past. Often, 



THE LOST BOOKS OF LIVY. 303 

when she passed through his study, he would 
remind her of some prank he had played in early 
days, and ask her if she remembered it, with such 
a frank, good-natured smile, that the old servant 
would smile too ; though there was always a tinge 
of melancholy in her recollections of his boyish 
roguery. Often, when she left the room, she 
would shake her head, and mutter to herself, " Ah, 
young Monsieur Armand was so good, so kind, so 
gentle ! Only to think that he should leave all his 
family and friends, and pass his life nobody knows 
where ! Ah ! it is very mysterious. And the 
bright, curly hair, that I used to pat with such 
fondness, to think that I should never see him 
again, till all that is left of it is a few silver locks 
about his temples ! ' She tried to gain from Mar- 
celline some particulars about her mother ; but the 
young girl had only a vague recollection of a form 
that used to press her to her heart, during journeys 
through strange countries, and who had long disap- 
peared. She remembered something of a time when 
her father's tall, upright figure suddenly bent under 
the weight of some great sorrow, from which it 
never rose erect again. Then, when she grew older, 
they lived for years in Italian cities, where there 
were great libraries ; whence they came to Paris. 

Nothing could be more delightful than the af- 
fectionate congeniality between father and daugh- 
ter. Their favorite pursuits, though different, had 
a kind of affinity which rendered their quiet ex- 



304 THE LOST BOOKS OF LIVY. 

istence very pleasant. Marcelline had a taste for 
painting ; and her father's mania for old manu- 
scripts furnished her with many opportunities for 
examining the exquisite miniatures and ornamental 
illuminations, with which monkish manuscripts 
were frequently enriched. When new manu- 
scripts arrived, which they did almost daily, her 
first impulse was to examine whether they con- 
tained any illuminations worthy of note ; and if 
so, to copy them with the utmost care and accu- 
racy. She had thus formed a very beautiful col- 
lection, in which she felt an interest almost as 
enthusiastic as that of her father in his long pur- 
suit of a treasure, which, like the horizon, seemed 
always in sight, but w r as never reached. 

In the midst of the charming, harmonious rou- 
tine of this little household, slight contentions 
would sometimes arise ; but they were sure to 
end, like the quarrels of lovers, in a renewal of 
love. Sometimes a manuscript arrived which con- 
tained exquisite illuminations ; but Dubois, think- 
ing it might be a palimpsest, regarded the orna- 
ments as so many abominations, concealing some 
treasure of classic literature. So the mediaeval 
romance, with its matchless miniatures, and intri- 
cate borderings, glowing with gilding, purple, and 
crimson, would soon disappear beneath the sponge, 
soap, and acids of the indefatigable seeker after 
The Lost Books of Livy. These occasions were 
sad trials for Marcelline. She would beg for a 



THE LOST BOOKS OF LIVY. 305 

week's delay, just to copy the most beautiful of 
the illuminations. But if Dubois thought he could 
perceive traces of erasure under the gorgeous 
ornaments, he was as impatient as a miner who 
fancies he sees indications of a vein of gold. 
When Marcelline saw the sponge trembling in his 
hand, so eager to commence the work of oblitera- 
tion, she would turn away with a painful sense of 
what seemed to her a cruel desecration. She felt 
that the sacrifice was due to the cause in which her 
father had enlisted all the energies of his life ; but 
the ruthless destruction of all those quaint and del- 
icately beautiful works of art caused her a pang 
she could not quite conceal. In spite of herself, a 
tear would glisten in her eye ; and the moment 
her father perceived it, his resolution melted. He 
would place the manuscript in her hand, and say, 
" There, there, my child ! a whole week if you 
want it ; and then bring it to me, if you have 
quite done with it." Then she would reply, " No, 
no, dear father. Your object is too important to 
be hindered by the whims of a foolish girl." He 
would press it upon her, and she would refuse it ; 
and as the combat of love went on, the old man's 
eyes would fill with tears. Then Marcelline would 
give way, and take the proffered manuscript ; and 
Dubois, with all the attentive politeness of a young 
lover, would arrange her desk, and her pieces of 
new vellum, and place the volume in a good light. 
Not till he had seen her fairly at work at her 



306 TELE LOST BOOKS OF LIVY. 

charming task, could he tear himself away ; and then 
not without pressing her hand, and nodding to her, 
as though they were going to part for some long 
period. She would nod too ; and then they both 
nodded together, smiling at their own affectionate 
folly, with tears glistening in their eyes. Then 
Dubois would go to his study, and among his 
heaps of manuscripts, bound and unbound, rolled 
or folded, he would soon be immersed in the in- 
tricacies of his old pursuit. 

After a while, the even current of their happy 
life became varied by the visits of a third person. 
When old Madeleine came to live with them, Du- 
bois often questioned her concerning the relatives 
and friends he had known in his boyhood. Her 
answer was, invariably, " Dead." It seemed as if 
all the old he inquired for were dead, and all the 
young either dead or scattered. During one of 
these conversations, he said, " What has become 
of Uncle Debaye, who used to prophesy that I 
should be a member of the Academy, and one of 
the illustrious men of France ? Ah, he was a 
pleasant specimen of the old bachelor and the hon 
vivant ! Where is he?" "He is dead, too," 
replied Madeleine ; " but he did not remain an old 
bachelor and a hon vivant. He married, some two 
and twenty years ago, and gave up his old luxuri- 
ous habits for the sake of supporting his pretty 
young wife. He even left off cigars and snuff, to 
supply her with little luxuries. She is dead, too. 



THE LOST BOOKS OF LIVY. 307 

But they had a very pretty child, little Hyppolite, 
who is a young man now." " Then it seems that 
I have one relative remaining," said Dubois ; " but 
I suppose he has gone off to America, or Austra- 
lia, or somewhere." " No, Monsieur," rejoined 
Madeleine, " he is in Paris. He got a situation 
out by the Barri£re du Trone, where he has two 
thousand francs a year, and apartments in the fac- 
tory to live in besides. I often meet him on a 
Sunday, in the gardens of the Luxembourg, and 
many a forty sous has he given me." 

Dubois was pleased to find that he had one rela- 
tive left, and Madeleine was commissioned to tell 
him that his father's brother-in-law, his uncle by 
marriage, had returned to Paris, and would be 
glad to see him. The young man came soon after, 
and father and daughter were both pleased with 
their new-found kinsman. He was not very intel- 
lectual or learned ; but he was lively, good-natured, 
and good-looking. He brought the living, moving 
world of the present into those secluded apart- 
ments, so entirely consecrated to the works and 
thoughts of ages long past. His free-and-easy 
conversation, without a single phrase smacking of 
libraries, or art-galleries, or any kind of learning, 
seemed a bright sparkling stream of young care- 
less life. His uncle listened willingly to his gos- 
siping anecdotes, told with a certain appreciation 
of the comic, in a clear, ringing voice, and with 
good-natured laughter. Hyppolite became a very 



308 THE LOST BOOKS OF LIVY. 

welcome visitor ; and, after a while, if lie did not 
appear on the days when he was regularly ex- 
pected, a shadow of disappointment was cast over 
the little household in the Rue Cassette. 

Thus things went on for some time. Marcelline 
daily added to her collection of exquisite fac-similes, 
and her father labored diligently in the cause to 
which he had devoted his life. He did not obtain 
the result he so ardently desired ; but his perse- 
verance was not without reward. On two occa- 
sions he discovered works of great importance, in 
a literary point of view, covered over with a mass 
of old law transactions ; and the sums he obtained 
for them enabled him greatly to increase his stock 
of manuscripts. He soon became so well known 
to all who dealt in such articles, that every new 
importation was offered to him, before it was 
shown elsewhere. 

Meanwhile Marcelline received increasing pleas- 
ure from the visits of Hyppolite. She began to 
suspect that the trivial chat uttered in that fresh 
young voice, with occasional peals of ringing 
laughter, possessed for her a greater charm than 
the noble words of her father, always teeming with 
knowledge and interest of various kinds. She 
shrunk from admitting this to herself. She would 
not believe it, but she had an uneasy suspicion of 
it. As for Hyppolite, his walk of two or three 
miles, to visit his new-found relatives, became his 
greatest pleasure. He found innumerable oppor- 



THE LOST BOOKS OF LIVY. 309 

trinities of making the Rue Cassette the shortest 
cut to one or other of the distant quarters of 
Paris, where the business of his employers carried 
him, though in fact it was often miles out of his 
way. To gratify Marcelline's peculiar taste, he 
frequently brought her ornaments cut from the 
pages of old illuminated manuscripts. When asked 
where he obtained them, he would merely laugh, 
and say he would bring some more soon. Dubois 
began to remonstrate against the barbarism of mu- 
tilating manuscripts in that way ; but Hyppolite 
would point to the piles of manuscripts from which 
he had washed both ornaments and writing, and 
would put on such a comic look, and laugh so 
merrily, that his uncle could not help laughing, 
too. 

One calm summer evening, Dubois had gone to 
the busy part of Paris, and Marcelline sat at the 
window, busily employed in copying a noble group 
of illuminated letters from a gorgeous manuscript 
of the twelfth century, which stood on the desk 
before her. The window was open, and the air 
gently moved the leaves of crisp vellum, with their 
antique writing and their curious enrichments. The 
massive silver clasps of the great folio hung back 
and glistened in the evening light. As the young 
artist looked up at her model, she felt tempted to 
make a drawing of the whole superb volume, in- 
stead of the especial group of letters she was copy- 
ing. The foliage of the lime-trees moved gently 



310 THE LOST BOOKS OF LIVY. 

in the warm evening breeze, and a linnet, hidden 
in its recesses, was singing his vesper hymn. Mar- 
celline felt very happy. The balmy hour, the 
congenial employment, and the bright halo of her 
twenty young years, threw around her an atmos- 
phere of soft, pure, gentle pleasure. Thoughts 
of more homely things mingled with her poetic 
mood. She thought of the choice little supper 
Madeleine was preparing for her father, and she 
tried to conjecture when he would arrive. 

The current of her ideas was interrupted by the 
ringing of the bell on the landing, and Madeleine 
announced the arrival of Monsieur Hyppolite. 
An uncontrollable thrill lifted her heart with one 
great bound. For a moment the illuminated vol- 
ume, the sweet summer breeze, the tuneful linnet, 
and the little supper for her father, were all for- 
gotten. By a strong effort she recovered herself, 
however, and received Hyppolite as usual ; per- 
haps a little more coolly, for she was inwardly 
shocked to find that his presence had power, even 
for a moment, to obliterate the pleasures and 
affections she had always deemed so sacred. He 
brought two beautifully illuminated letters, that 
had evidently formed part of a very fine Italian 
manuscript. Being in an unusual style of art, 
they attracted her attention, and diverted her 
thoughts from the channel they had taken. She 
reseated herself at her work ; and while he watched 
her skilful pencil tracing the intricate interlacings 



THE LOST BOOKS OF LIVY. 311 

of various and many-colored lines and brandies, 
he sought to entertain her with his usual light 
chat. But Marcelline did not respond so gayly 
as she was accustomed to do, and he grew un- 
wontedly silent ; so silent, that the song of the 
linnet was heard again, and no other sound dis- 
turbed the stillness. At last, Hyppolite, with a 
great effort, and as if something choked his usual 
clear utterance, said, " Marcelline, you must have 
long perceived that I — " she rose hastily, ex- 
claiming, " O don't say that word ! Don't say 
it ! To break the holy spell of filial affection 
which has always bound my heart, would be 
sacrilege." But Hyppolite knelt at her feet, and 
poured forth the fervid language that comes to 
all when the heart is kindled by a first love. 
Marcelline turned away her head and wept. The 
bitter tears, not without sweetness, relieved the 
deep trouble of her heart. She resumed her seat, 
and told her cousin decidedly, but kindly, that 
he must never speak to her of love while her 
dear father lived ; that she could never allow any 
earthly^ affection to come between her and him. 
The young man, in the midst of his disappoint- 
ment, could not but wish that his uncle might live 
long ; for he truly loved his genial nature., and 
regarded his great learning with almost super- 
stitious veneration. He held out his hand, saying, 
" My cousin, it is the hand of friendship." She 
pressed it kindly, and gently admonished him that 



312 THE LOST BOOKS OF LIVY. 

his visits must be less frequent. After a brief 
struggle he resigned himself to her guidance, and 
recovered his equanimity, if not his usual gayety. 
All was peaceful and pleasant when Dubois re- 
turned, and Hyppolite was urged to stay and 
partake of the choice little supper. 

The household continued to go on in the old 
quiet way, varied occasionally by visits from an- 
tiquarians and learned men. On such occasions, 
it was charming to hear Dubois descant on his 
favorite topics with the enthusiasm and beautiful 
flow of language which they always excited. 
Marcelline was often appealed to in these discus- 
sions ; for her intimate knowledge of the beauties 
of illumination enabled her to judge the age of 
a manuscript, by delicate peculiarities in its orna- 
ments, more readily than learned men could do 
by the character of the writing or the nature of 
the subject. Hyppolite, who was sometimes pres- 
ent by special invitation, would sit apart, drinking 
in every delicate epithet and daintly selected word 
uttered by his cousin, as though they were heaven- 
distilled drops of nectar. 

One morning, Dubois rushed into his daughter's 
apartment, eagerly exclaiming, " Eureka ! Eureka ! 
I have found it ! I have found it ! My name will 
go down to posterity joined with that of Livy ! At 
last I have found The Lost Books ! " Joyfully, he 
drew his daughter into his study, and there, spread 
upon the floor, were several sheets of vellum still 



THE LOST BOOKS OF LIVY. 313 

wet from the action of his sponge. The more 
recent writing had been removed, and traces of a 
nearly erased manuscript, apparently of the tenth 
century, was gradually becoming more distinct 
under the influence of a preparation he had ap- 
plied. The old man drew himself up as he pointed 
to it, and looking proudly at his daughter, said, 
44 The labor of my life has been well expended. 
It will be my great privilege to be the first among 
moderns to read the whole of the noble history of 
Livy ; for I believe the whole is there." He in- 
sisted that Hyppolite should be sent for to hear 
the glad tidings. The good-natured youth has- 
tened to the Rue Cassette, and congratulated his 
uncle upon his great discovery. He did not, in- 
deed, understand the importance of the recovered 
annals, for he thought we had a tolerably com- 
plete history of Rome without these famous Lost 
Books, but he cordially sympathized with the joy 
of his uncle and cousin. It was a day marked 
with u a white stone ' ' in the annals of the quiet 
little family. In honor of the occasion, a bottle 
of the choice wine called Chateaux Margaux, 
was placed on the generally frugal little dinner- 
table, and the sun traced upon it bright lights and 
shadows through the branches of the lime-trees, 
as if to aid in the celebration. 

Day by day, more pages of the palimpsest were 

prepared, and the ancient text developed itself so 

. well, that the exulting Dubois resolved to invite 

14 



314 THE LOST BOOKS OF LIVY. 

his most learned friends to a grand evening re- 
union, in honor of his discovery. A lithographed 
circular was accordingly prepared, and sent round 
in due form. It brought together a select party 
of the knowing ones in such matters. Dubois was 
all smiles and urbanity. In the fluent language, of 
which he had extraordinary command, he related 
the successive details of his discovery. He deemed 
himself the most fortunate of men. His heart was 
running over with enthusiasm. His hearers were 
charmed with the copious flood of eloquence that 
he poured forth without stint, full of the deepest 
erudition, yet warmed and embellished by a per- 
vading gleam of amiable exhilaration, and inno- 
cent exultation over the triumphant result of his 
life-long labors. The sheets of the recovered 
manuscript were placed in a good light, and eager- 
ly examined through many pairs of glittering spec- 
tacles and powerful microscopes. It obviously 
related to that portion of Roman history lost from 
the books of Livy, but many doubts were expressed 
whether it were written by that great historian. 
Peculiarities of orthography and style were ad- 
duced to prove that the writer must have been 
a monk. But Dubois ingeniously converted every 
objection into an additional proof that they had 
before them the identical Lost Books of Livy. 

The animated discussion was interrupted by the 
entrance of Madeleine, who said that two men were 
at the door, with old manuscripts to sell. Dubois 



THE LOST BOOKS OF LIVY. 315 

could never resist the temptation to examine must j 
vellum, and he ordered them to be shown in. The 
manuscripts did not prove to be of any value ; 
and Madeleine was very glad to close the door 
upon the intruders, for she did not like their looks. 
A similar impression seemed to have been made 
on the company ; for several of them remarked 
that it was hazardous to introduce men of that 
stamp into a room filled with books clasped with 
silver, and with many other ancient articles of cu- 
rious workmanship, some of them in the precious 
metals. But Dubois laughed at the idea that any- 
body would think of robbing a poor book-antiqua- 
rian of his musty treasures, though some of them 
were clasped with silver. 

The dimensions of the table were enlarged by 
piles of huge folios, and Madeleine spread it with 
choice viands, in the discussion of which the style 
and orthography of Livy were for a while forgot- 
ten. The lively sallies of Hyppolite, his funny 
anecdotes, and descriptions of practical jokes, be- 
gan to entertain the guests more than their own 
conversation. His merry, thrilling laugh became 
infectious. First, his pretty cousin joined in with 
her silvery treble ; then Dubois ; then all of them. 
No one, listening to this hilarious chorus, would 
have supposed the company consisted of the most 
profound scholars that ever enlightened the halls 
of the Institute or the Academy. 

Dubois went to sleep that happy night dreaming 



316 THE LOST BOOKS OF LIVY. 

of new discoveries among the as yet unrestored 
leaves of his precious palimpsest. He was wak- 
ened very early in the morning by a loud knock 
at his door, and heard the voice of old Madeleine 
crying out, " Monsieur Dubois ! Monsieur Du- 
bois ! Get up ! Pray get up immediately ! " He 
hurried on his dressing-gown, and found Madeleine 
in the middle of his study, her eyes streaming with 
tears. The room where he had heaped up so many 
treasures, where he had spent so many hours of 
calm happiness, where he had the last evening 
enjoyed so much, was empty. The pile of folios, 
the rows of richly-bound manuscripts, with the 
velvet covers and silver clasps, his precious pa- 
limpsest, and even the bundles of musty vellum, 
had all disappeared. The window was open, and 
the little curtain torn ; plainly indicating how the 
robbers had obtained entrance into his sanctuary. 
The linnet was singing a morning song in the lime- 
trees, and the early sun checkered the empty floor 
with bright light and quivering shadows of the foli- 
age. It seemed as if the sweet sounds and the bril- 
liant rays were rejoicing over a scene of gladness, 
instead of such utter desolation and wretchedness. 
No words can describe the pangs which wrung 
the heart of poor Dubois, thus suddenly anc 
strangely deprived of the treasure which he hac 
spent all the energies of his life in discovering. 
For a moment, his eyes glared with rage, like those 
of a tiger deprived of her young. Then he clasped 



THE LOST BOOKS' OF LIVY. 317 

his trembling hands, and fell heavily, nearly faint- 
ing, into his chair. Alarmed by the sound of his 
fall, Marcelline came running in. It was long be- 
fore she and old Madeleine could rouse him from 
his lethargy. At last, his stupefied senses were 
awakened and concentrated by his daughter's re- 
peated assurances that the lost treasure would be 
recovered if an immediate pursuit were instituted. 
" It is not likely," said she, " that we shall recover 
the richly-illuminated manuscripts, in their valua- 
ble bindings ; or the carved ivories ; or those co- 
dices written in gold upon grounds of purple ; but 
the sheets of that old palimpsest, with its half- 
obliterated characters, and the old volume contain- 
ing the rest of the work, cannot possibly be of use 
to anybody but yourself. Those can surely be 
recovered." 

A flood of passionate tears came to her father's 
relief. His usual calmness was restored ; and 
after drinking a cup of coffee, urged upon him by 
the kind old Madeleine, he hurried forth to give 
information to the police, and to make all possible 
efforts to recover his treasures. 

Some fragments of parchment were found under 
the lime-trees, but no further traces were discov- 
ered, till late in the forenoon it was ascertained 
that one of the richly-bound manuscripts had been 
offered to a dealer for sale. In the afternoon, an- 
other clew was obtained from a waste-paper dealer, 
who described a quantity of parchment brought to 



318 THE LOST BOOKS OF LIVY. 

him that morning, which he had not, however, pur- 
chased. From the description, it appeared that 
the precious palimpsest was among these bundles. 
Dubois's hopes were kindled by this information. 
He was recommended to go to the establishments 
of various dealers in such articles in remote quar- 
ters of the city, and, accompanied by the police, 
he made diligent search. Only one more remained, 
and that was close to the Barriere du Trone. 

Arrived at this establishment, Dubois was sur- 
prised to see his nephew mounted aloft at a desk 
in the inner warehouse ; for he had never inquired 
concerning the nature of the factory in which he 
was employed. As soon as Hyppolite perceived 
his uncle, he hurried forward to welcome him, 
and told him he had intended to call at the Rue 
Cassette that day, for he had just obtained pos- 
session of two illuminated letters that he wished 
to present to Mademoiselle Marcelline. He took 
two slips of vellum from his desk ; " See," said 
he, " these are very much in the style of that old 
Roman History you were exhibiting to the com- 
pany last night." 

" Very much in the style ! ' exclaimed Dubois, 
his eyes glistening with delight. " They are 
identical! Where did you get them?" 

" Our foreman sent them down to me," re- 
joined Hyppolite. " We purchase enormous quan- 
tities of old parchment, and frequently a few 
painted letters are found in the mass. Our man- 



THE LOST BOOKS OF LIVY. 319 

ager, in compliance with my request, cuts them 
out and reserves them for me." 

" Then the vellum from which they were cut 
is here ? " 

" Yes, it is, uncle ; but why are you so agi- 
tated ? " 

u Dubois briefly related the circumstances of 
the robbery ; and wiping the cold perspiration 
from his brow, he added: "But all is safe now! 
I would not walk twenty paces to recover all the 
silver-clasped volumes, if I can only hold once 
more the musty palimpsest which contains that 
priceless treasure, — The Lost Books of Livy ! " 

The flush faded from Hyppolite's ruddy cheek. 
"There is not a moment to be lost! ' exclaimed 
he. " Follow me, dear uncle." 

Away he ran across court-yards, through long 
warehouses filled with merchandise, and up flights 
of stairs, two steps at a bound. Dubois, highly 
excited, followed with the activity of youth. 
They reached a small room adjoining an enormous 
mass of lofty chimneys, from which heavy col- 
umns of smoke rolled away before the wind. 

" Where is the lot of old vellum that came 
this morning ? " gasped Hyppolite,, all out of 
breath. 

A man who was busy checking off accounts, 
asked, " Do you mean the lot from which you 
cut those two letters ? " 

" Yes, yes," replied Hyppolite. u Where is it ? 
Where is it ? It is very important I " 



S20 THE LOST BOOKS OF LIVY. 

" Let me see," said the man. " It was lot 
number fourteen, purchased at eight o'clock this 
morning. We happened to be very short of vel- 
lum, and I gave out that new lot directly." He 
opened a creaking door, and called out, " Pierre ! 
Pierre ! what was the number of the lot you put 
in last?" 

" Number fourteen," replied a deep voice with- 
in ; and the door closed again, with dinning rattle 
of rope and weight. 

" It is too late," said the foreman, turning to 
Hyppolite. " It went in at eleven o'clock." 

" Went in f Went in where ? ' exclaimed 
Dubois, turning first to Hyppolite, and then to 
the foreman, with a look of haggard anxiety. 

" Into the boiler," replied Hyppolite, taking his 
uncle's hand. " This is a gelatine manufactory. 
We boil down tons of old parchment every year." 

• • • • • 

It was long before Dubois recovered from the 
shock he had received ; but he did finally recover. 
He began to accumulate fresh bibliographical 
treasures around him, and many pleasant evenings 
were spent in those old apartments. But his 
former enthusiasm never returned. Any new 
discovery in the field of his research no longer 
excited a rapid flow of ardent words, but . was 
merely indicated by a faint smile. He was al- 
ways kindly and genial, and was only roused to 
an occasional word or look of bitterness when 



THE LOST BOOKS OF LIVY. 321 

some circumstance happened to remind him of 
the treasure he had lost. " To think that what I 
had been hunting for all my life should be found 
only to be lost in a pot of gelatine ! ' he would 
exclaim, indignantly. Then he would fall into 
a silence which no one ventured to disturb. But, 
with a slight sigh, and a quiver of his gray locks, 
he would soon dismiss the subject from his mind, 
and change the conversation. 

If he ever felt regret at having expended all 
the energies of his life among the dim shadows 
of the past, no one ever heard him express the 
feeling. And this was wise ; for his habits were 
too firmly fixed to be changed. He lived with 
his dear old volumes as with friends. The mo- 
notony of his life was soothed by a daughter's love, 
and cheered by the kind attentions of his gay 
young nephew. His uncommon talents and learn- 
ing left no traces behind them, and his name 
passed away as do the pleasant clouds of twilight. 
Hyppolite's constant love was rewarded by the 
heart and hand of Marcelline ; and the two 
who most reverenced the old man's learn- 
ing, and most tenderly cherished the 
memory of his genial character, 
lived to talk of them often to 
each other, and to teach 
them to their de- 
scendants. 



14* 



? 



TO ONE WHO WISHED ME SIX- 
TEEN YEARS OLD. 

By ALICE CARY. 

SUPPOSE your hand with power supplied, 
Say, would you slip it 'neath my hair, 
And turn it to the golden side 

Of sixteen years ? Suppose you dare, 

And I stood here with smiling mouth, 
Red cheeks, and hands all softly white, 

Exceeding beautiful with youth, 
And that some tiptoe-treading sprite 

Brought dreams as bright as they could be, 
To keep the shadows from my brow, 

And plucked down hearts to pleasure me, 
As you would roses from a bough* 

What could I do then ? Idly wear, 
While all my mates went on before, 

The bashful looks and golden hair 

Of sixteen years ! and nothing more ? 



SIXTEEN YEARS OLD. 323 

Nay, done with youth are my desires, 

Life has no pain I fear to meet ; 
Experience, with its dreadful fires, 

Melts knowledge to a welding heat. 

And all its fires of heart and brain, 

Where purpose into power was wrought, 

I 'd bear, and gladly bear again, 
Eather than be put back a thought. 

So, sigh no more, my gentle friend, 

That I am at the time of day 
When white hair comes, and heart-beats send 

No blushes through the cheeks astray. 

For could you mould my destiny, 

As clay, within your loving hand, 
I 'd leave my youth's sweet company, 

And suffer back to where I stand. 



THE SILVERY HEAD. 

Though youth may boast the curls that flow, 
In sunny waves of auburn glow, 

As graceful, on thy hoary head, 
Has time the robe of honor spread, 
And there, O, softly, softly shed 
His wreath of snow. 

Felicia Hemans. 




GROWING OLD.* 



ADDRESSED TO UNMARRIED WOMEN. 




T is a trying crisis in life to feel that 
you have had your fair half at least 
of the ordinary term of years allotted 
to mortals ; that you have no right to 
expect to be any handsomer, or stronger, or hap- 
pier than you are now ; that you have climbed 
to the summit of life, whence the next step must 
necessarily be decadence. The air may be as fresh, 
the view as grand, still you know that, slower or 
faster, you are going down hill. It is not a pleas- 
ant descent at the beginning. It is rather trying 
when, from long habit, you unwittingly speak of 
yourself as a " girl," to detect a covert smile on 
the face of your interlocutor ; or, when led by 
some chance excitement to deport yourself in an 
ultra-youthful manner, some instinct warns you 
that you are making yourself ridiculous ; or, catch- 
ing in some strange looking-glass the face you are 

* 'From Miss Muloch's " Thoughts about Women." 



GROWING OLD. 325 

too familiar with to notice much, ordinarily, you 
suddenly become aware that it is not a young 
face, and will never be a young face again. With 
most people, the passing from maturity to middle 
age is so gradual as to be almost imperceptible to 
the individual concerned. There is no denying 
this fact, and it ought to silence many an ill-na- 
tured remark upon those unlucky ones who insist 
upon remaining " young ladies of a certain age." 
It is very difficult for a woman to recognize that 
she is growing old ; and to all, this recognition 
cannot but be fraught with considerable pain. 
Even the most sensible woman cannot fairly put 
aside her youth, with all it has enjoyed, or lost, 
or missed, and regard it as henceforth to be con- 
sidered a thing gone by, without a momentary 
spasm of the heart. 

To " grow old gracefully ' is a good and beau- 
tiful thing ; to grow old worthily is a better. 
And the first effort to that end is to become rec- 
onciled to the fact of youth's departure ; to have 
faith in the wisdom of that which we call change, 
but which is in truth progression ; to follow openly 
and fearlessly, in ourselves and our daily life, the 
same law which makes spring pass into summer, 
summer into autumn, and autumn into winter, 
preserving an especial beauty and fitness in each 
of the four. 

If women could only believe it, there is a won- 
derful beauty even in growing old. The charm 



326 GROWING OLD. 

of expression, arising from softened temper or 
ripened intellect, often atones amply for the loss 
of form and coloring ; consequently, to those who 
could never boast of either of these latter, years 
give much more than they take away. A sen- 
sitive person often requires half a lifetime to get 
thoroughly used to this corporeal machine ; to 
attain a wholesome indifference both to its defects 
and perfections ; and to learn at last what nobody 
would acquire from any 'teacher but experience, 
that it is the mind alone which is of any conse- 
quence. With good temper, sincerity, and a mod- 
erate stock of brains, or even with the two former 
only, any sort of a body can in time be made 
a useful, respectable, and agreeable travelling-dress 
for the soul. Many a one who was absolutely 
plain in youth, thus grows pleasant and well- 
looking in declining years. You will seldom find 
anybody, not ugly in mind, who is repulsively 
ugly in person after middle life. 

So it is with character. However we may talk 
about people being "not a whit altered," "just 
the same as ever"; the fact is, not one of us is, 
or can be, for long together, exactly the same. 
The body we carry with us is not the identical 
body we were born with, or the one we supposed 
ours seven years ago ; and our spiritual self, which 
inhabits it, also goes through perpetual change 
and renewal. In moral and mental, as well as 
in physical growth, it is impossible to remain 



GROWING OLD. 327 

stationary. If we do not advance, we retrograde. 
Talk of being " too late to improve," " too old to 
learn " ! A human being should be improving 
with every day of a lifetime ; and will probably 
have to go on learning throughout all the ages 
of immortality. 

One of the pleasures of growing old is, to know, 
to acquire, to find out, to be able to appreciate the 
causes of things ; this gradually becomes a neces- 
sity and an exquisite delight. We are able to 
pass out of our own small daily sphere, and to take 
interest in the marvellous government of the uni- 
verse ; to see the grand workings of cause and 
effect ; the educing of good out of apparent evil ; 
the clearing away of the knots in tangled destinies, 
general or individual ; the wonderful agency of 
time, change, and progress in ourselves, in those 
surrounding us, and in the world at large. In 
small minds, this feeling expends itself in med- 
dling, gossiping, scandal-mongering ; but such are 
merely abortive developments of a right noble 
quality, which, properly guided, results in benefits 
incalculable to the individual and to society. Un- 
doubtedly the after-half of life is the best work- 
ing-time. Beautiful is youth's enthusiasm, and 
grand are its achievements ; but the most solid 
and permanent good is done by the persistent 
strength and wide experience of middle age. Con- 
tentment rarely comes till then ; not mere resig- 
nation, a passive acquiescence in what cannot be 



328 GROWING OLD. 

removed, but active contentment. This is a bless- 
ing cheaply bought by a personal share in that 
daily account of joy and pain, which the longer 
one lives the more one sees is pretty equally bal- 
anced in all lives. Young people enjoy " the top 
of life " ecstatically, either in prospect or fruition ; 
but they are very seldom contented. It is not 
possible. Not till the cloudy maze is half travelled 
through, and we begin to see the object and pur- 
pose of it, can we be really content. 

The doubtful question, to marry or not to marry, 
is by this time generally settled. A woman's re- 
lations with the other sex imperceptibly change 
their character, or slowly decline. There are 
exceptions ; old lovers who have become friends, 
or friends whom no new love could make swerve 
from the fealty of years ; still it usually happens 
so. The society of honorable, well-informed gen- 
tlemen, who meet a lady on the easy neutral 
ground of mutual esteem, is undoubtedly pleasant, 
but the time has passed when any one of them is 
the one necessary to her happiness. If she wishes 
to retain influence over mankind, she must do it 
by means different from those employed in youth. 
Even then, be her wit ever so sparkling, her in- 
fluence ever so pure and true, she will often find 
her listener preferring bright eyes to intellectual 
conversation, and the satisfaction of his heart to 
the improvement of his mind. And who can 
blame him ? The only way for a woman to pre- 



GROWING OLD. 329 

serve the unfeigned respect of men, is to let them 
see that she can do without either their attention 
or their admiration. The waning coquette, the 
ancient beauty, as well as the ordinary woman, 
who has had her fair share of both love and liking, 
must show by her demeanor that she has learned 
this. 

It is reckoned among the compensations of time 
that we suffer less as we grow older ; that pain, 
like joy, becomes dulled by repetition, or by the 
callousness that comes with years. In one sense 
this is true. If there is no joy like the joy of 
youth, the rapture of a first love, the thrill of a 
first ambition, God's great mercy has also granted 
that there is no anguish like youth's pain ; so total, 
so hopeless, blotting out earth and heaven, falling 
down upon the whole being like a stone. This 
never comes in after life ; because the sufferer, if 
he or she have lived to any purpose, at all, has 
learned that God never meant any human being to 
be crushed under any calamity, like a blind worm 
under a stone. 

For lesser evils, the fact that our interests grad- 
ually take a wider range, allows more scope for 
the healing power of compensation. Also our 
loves, hates, sympathies, and prejudices, having 
assumed a more rational and softened shape, do 
not present so many angles for the rough attrition 
of the world. Likewise, with the eye of faith we 
have come to view life in its entireness, instead of 



330 GROWING OLD. 

puzzling over its disjointed parts, which were never 
meant to be made wholly clear to mortal eye. 
And that calm twilight, which, by nature's kindly 
law, so soon begins to creep over the past, throws 
over all things a softened coloring, which tran- 
scends and forbids regret. 

Another reason why woman has greater capacity 
for usefulness in middle life than in any previous 
portion of her existence, is her greater indepen- 
dence. She will have learned to understand herself, 
mentally and bodily ; to be mistress over herself. 
Nor is this a small advantage ; for it often takes 
years to comprehend, and to act upon when 
comprehended, the physical peculiarities of one's 
own constitution. Much valetudinarianism among 
women arises from ignorance or neglect of the 
commonest sanitary laws ; and from indifference 
to that grand preservative of a healthy body, a 
well-controlled and healthy mind. Both of these 
are more attainable in middle age than in youth ; 
and therefore the sort of happiness they bring, a 
solid, useful, available happiness, is more in her 
power then than at any earlier period. And 
why ? Because she has ceased to think principally 
of herself and her own pleasures ; because hap- 
piness has itself become to her an accidental thing, 
which the good God may give or withhold, as He 
sees most fit for her, and most adapted to the work 
for which he means to use her in her generation. 
This conviction of being at once an active and a 



GROWING OLD. 331 

passive agent is surely consecration enough to 
form the peace, nay, the happiness, of any good 
woman's life ; enough, be it ever so solitary, to 
sustain it until the end. In what manner such a 
conviction should be carried out, no one individual 
can venture to advise. In this age, woman's work 
is almost unlimited, when the woman herself so 
chooses. She alone can be a law unto herself; 
deciding and acting according to the circumstances 
in which her lot is placed. And have we not 
many who do so act ? There are women of prop- 
erty, whose names are a proverb for generous and 
wide charities ; whose riches, carefully guided, 
flow into innumerable channels, freshening the 
whole land. There are women of rank and in- 
fluence, who use both, or lay aside both, in the 
simplest humility, for labors of love, which level 
all classes, or rather raise them all, to one common 
sphere of womanhood. 

Many others, of whom the world knows nothing, 
have taken the wisest course that any unmarried 
woman can take ; they have made themselves a 
home and a position ; some, as the Ladies Bounti- 
ful of a country neighborhood ; some, as elder sis- ; 
ters, on whom has fallen the bringing up of whole 
families, and to whom has been tacitly accorded 
the headship of the same, by the love and respect 
of more than one generation thereof. There are 
some who, as writers, painters, and professional 
women generally, make the most of whatever spe- 



332 GROWING OLD. 

cial gift is allotted to them ; believing that, whether 
it be great or small, it is not theirs, either to lose 
or to waste, but that they must one day render up 
to the Master his own, with usury. 

I will not deny that the approach of old age 
has its sad aspect to a woman who has never mar- 
ried ; and who, when her own generation dies out, 
no longer retains, or can expect to retain, any 
flesh-and-blood claim upon a single human being. 
When all the downward ties, which give to the 
decline of life a rightful comfort, and the interest 
in the new generation which brightens it with a 
perpetual hope, are to her either unknown, or in- 
dulged in chiefly on one side. Of course there 
are exceptions, where an aunt has been almost like 
a mother, and where a loving and lovable great- 
aunt is as important a personage as any grand- 
mother. But, generally speaking, a single woman 
must make up her mind that the close of her days 
will be more or less solitary. 

Yet there is a solitude which old age feels to be 
as natural and satisfying as that rest which seems 
such an irksomeness to youth, but which gradually 
grows into the best blessing of our lives ; and 
there is another solitude, so full of peace and 
hope, that it is like Jacob's sleep in the wilder- 
ness, at the foot of the ladder of angels. 

The extreme loneliness, which afar off appears 
sad, may prove to be but as the quiet, dreamy 
hour, " between the lights," when the day's work 



GROWING OLD. 333 

is done, and we lean back, closing our eyes, to 
think it all over before we finally go to rest, or to 
look forward, with faith and hope, unto the coming 
Morning. 

A life in which the best has been made of all 
the materials granted to it, and through which the 
hand of the Great Designer can be plainly traced, 
whether its web be dark or bright, whether its pat- 
tern be clear or clouded, is not a life to be pitied ; 
for it is a completed life. It has fulfilled 
its appointed course, and returns to 
the Giver of all breath, pure as 
he gave it. Nor will he 
forget it when he 
counteth up his 
jewels. 



" Time wears slippers of list, and his tread is 
noiseless. The days come softly dawning, one 
after another ; they creep in at the windows ; 
their fresh morning air is grateful to the lips as 
they pant for it ; their music is sweet to the ears 
that listen to it ; until, before we know it, a whole 
life of days has possession of the citadel, and time 
has taken us for its own." 




EQUINOCTIAL. 

By MRS. A. D. T. WHITNEY.. 

THE Sun of Life has crossed the line ; 
The summer-shine of lengthened light 
Faded and failed, — till, where I stand, 
'T is equal Day and equal Night. 

One after one, as dwindling hours, 

Youth's glowing hopes have dropped away, 

And soon may barely leave the gleam 
That coldly scores a winter's day. 

I am not young, I am not old ; 

The flush of morn, the sunset calm, 
Paling, and deepening, each to each, 

Meet midway with a solemn charm. 



One side I see the summer fields, 
Not yet disrobed of all their green ; 

While westerly, along the hills, 

Flame the first tints of frosty sheen. 



EQUINOCTIAL. 335 

Ah, middle-point, where cloud and storm 
Make battle-ground of this my life ! 

Where, even-matched, the Night and Day 
Wage round me their September strife ! 

I bow me to the threatening gale : - 

I know when that is overpast, 
Among the peaceful harvest-days, 

An Indian-summer comes at last. 



EPITAPH ON THE UNMATED. 

No chosen spot of ground she called her own. 
In pilgrim guise o'er earth she wandered on ; 
Yet always in her path some flowers were strown. 
No dear ones were her own peculiar care, 
So was her bounty free as heaven's air ; 
For every claim she had enough to spare. 
And, loving more her heart to give than lend, 
Though oft deceived in many a trusted friend, 
She hoped, believed, and trusted to the end. 
She had her joys ; — 't was joy to her to love, 
To labor in the world with God above, 
And tender hearts that ever near did move. 
She had her griefs ; — but they left peace behind, 
And healing came on every stormy wind, 
And still with silver every cloud was lined. 
And every loss sublimed some low desire, 
And every sorrow taught her to aspire, 
Till waiting angels bade her " Go up higher." 

E. S. 




A BEAUTIFUL THOUGHT.* 




LESSING and blessed, this excellent 
man passed on to old age ; and how 
beautiful that old age was, none, who 
had the privilege of knowing it, can 
ever forget. It was the old age of the Christian 
scholar and the beloved man. His evening of life 
could not but be bright and serene, full of hope, 
and free from sadness. He had a kindly fresh- 
ness of spirit, which made the society of the young 
pleasant to him ; and they, on their part, were 
always happy to be with him, enjoying the good- 
natured wisdom and the modest richness of his 
conversation. His faculties remained clear, active, 
and healthy to the last. Advancing years never 
for a moment closed the capacity, or abated the 
willingness, to receive new ideas. Though a lover 
of the past and the established, his opinions never 

hardened into prejudices. His intellectual vigor 

i 

* From the Rev. Dr. Francis's Memoir of the Hon. John 
Davis. 



A BEAUTIFUL THOUGHT. 337 

was not seen to moulder under the quiet which an 
old man claims as his right. Of him might be said 
what Solon said of himself in advanced years, that 
" he learned something every day he lived " ; and 
to no one could be better applied the remark of 
Cicero concerning the venerable Appius : " He 
kept his mind bent like a bow, nor was it ever 
relaxed by old age." 

But it was peculiarly his fine moral qualities — 
his benevolence, his artlessness, his genial kind- 
ness — which shed a mellow and beautiful light 
on his old age. No thought of self ever mingled 
its alloy w T ith the virtues that adorned Judge 
Davis's character. His reliance on the truths and 
promises of Christian faith seemed more confident 
and vital as he drew nearer to the great realities 
of the future. For him, life had always a holy 
meaning. A Grecian philosopher, at the age of 
eighty-five, is said to have expressed painful dis- 
content at the shortness of life, and complained of 
nature's hard allotment, which snatches man away 
just as he is about to reach some perfection of 
science. Not so our Christian sage ; he found 
occasion, not for complaint, but rather for thank- 
fulness, because, as the end approached, he saw 
more distinctly revealed the better light beyond. 

He once expressed, in a manner touchingly 

beautiful, his own estimation of old age. On the 

occasion of a dinner-party, at which Judge Story 

and others eminent in the legal profession ' were 

15 v 



338 A BEAUTIFUL THOUGHT. 

present, the conversation turned upon the compar- 
ative advantages of the different periods of life. 
Some preferred, for enjoyment, youth and man- 
hood ; others ascribed more solid satisfactions to 
old age. When the opinion of Judge Davis was 
asked, he said, with his usual calm simplicity of 
manner : " In the warm season of the year it is 
my delight to be in the country ; and every pleas- 
ant evening while I am there, I love to sit at 
the window and look at some beautiful trees 
which grow near my house. The murmuring 
of the wind through the branches, the gentle 
play of the leaves, and the flickering of light 
upon them when the moon is up, fill me with an 
indescribable pleasure. As the autumn comes 
on, I feel very sad to see these leaves falling one 
by one ; but when they are all gone, I find 
that they were only a screen before my 
eyes ; for I experience a new 
and higher satisfaction as J. 
gaze through the naked 
branches at the glo- 
rious stars of 
heaven be- 
yond." 



AT ANCHOR.* 



AH, many a year ago, dear wife, 
We floated down this river, 
Where the hoar willows on its brink 

Alternate wave and shiver ; 
With careless glance we viewed askance 

The kingfisher at quest, 
And scarce would heed the reed-wren near, 

Who sang beside her nest ; 
Nor dreamed that e'er our boat would be 
Thus anchored and at rest, 

Dear love, 
Thus anchored, and at rest ! 

O, many a time the wren has built 

Where those green shadows quiver, 
And many a time the hawthorn shed 

Its blossoms on the river, 
Since that sweet noon of sultry June, 

When I my love confessed, 
While with the tide our boat did glide 

Adown the stream's smooth breast, 

* Author unknown. 



340 AT ANCHOR. 

Whereon our little shallop lies * 
Now anchored, and at rest, 

Dear love, 
Now anchored, and at rest ! 

The waters still to ocean run, 

Their tribute to deliver, 
And still the hawthorns bud and bloom 

Above the dusky river. 
Still sings the wren, — the water-hen 

Still skims the ripple's crest ; 
The sun — as bright as on that night — 

Sinks slowly down the west ; 
But now our tiny craft is moored, 

Safe anchored and at rest, 
Dear love, 

Safe anchored, and at rest ! 

For this sweet calm of after-days 

We thank the bounteous Giver, 
Who bids our life flow smoothly on 

As this delicious river. 
A world — our own — has round us grown, 

Wherein we twain are blest ; 
Our child's first words than songs of birds 

More music have expressed ; 
And all our centred happiness 

Is anchored, and at rest, 
Dear love, 

Is anchored, and at rest ! 



NOVEMBER. 



By REV. HENRY WARD BEECHER. 




E often hear people say, " O, the 
dreary days of November ! " The 
days of November are never dreary, 
though men sometimes are. There 
are things in November that make us sad. There 
are suggestions in it that lead us to serious 
thoughts. At that season of the year, we are apt 
to feel that life is passing away. After the days in 
summer begin to grow short, I cannot help sighing 
often ; and, as they still grow shorter and shorter, 
I look upon things, not with pain, but with a 
melancholy eye. And when autumn comes, and 
the leaves of the trees drop down through the air 
and find their resting-places, I cannot help think- 
ing, that life is short, that our work is almost ended. 
It makes me sad ; but there is a sadness that is 
wholesome, and even pleasurable. There are sor- 
rows that are not painful, but are of the nature of 
some acids, and give piquancy and flavor to life. 



342 NOVEMBER. 

Such is the sorrow which November brings. That 
month, which sees the year disrobed, is not a 
dreary month. I like to see the trees go to bed, 
as much as I like to see little children go to their 
sleep ; and I think there is nothing prettier in this 
world than to see a mother disrobe her child and 
prepare its couch, and sing and talk to it, and 
finally lay it to rest. I like to see the birds get 
ready for their repose at night. Did you ever sit 
at twilight and hear the birds talk of their domestic 
matters, — apparently going over with each other 
the troubles and joys of the day ? There is an 
immense deal to be learned from birds, if a person 
has an ear to hear. Even so I like to see the year 
prepare for its sleep. I like to see the trees with 
their clothes taken off. I like to see the lines of a 
tree ; to see its anatomy. I like to see the prep- 
aration God makes for winter. How everything 
is snugged and packed ! How all nature gets 
ready for the cold season ! How the leaves heap 
themselves upon the roots to protect them from 
the frosts ! How all things tender are taken 
out of the way, and only things tough are left to 
stand the buffetings of winter ! And how do 
hardy vines and roots bravely sport their bannered 
leaves, which the frost cannot kill, holding them 
up clear into the coldest days ! November is a 
dreary month to some, but to me it is only sad ; 
and it is a sweet sadness that it brings to my 
mind. 



MEDITATIONS ON A BIRTHDAY 

EVE. 

By REV. JOHN PIERPONT. 

DAY, with its labors, has withdrawn. 
The stars look down from heaven, 
And whisper, " Of thy life are gone 
Full seventy years and seven ! " 

"While those bright worlds, by angels trod, 

Thus whispering round me roll, 
Let me commune with thee, my God ! 

Commune with thee, my soul ! 

Thou, Father, canst not change thy place, 

Nor change thy time to be." 
What are the boundless fields of space, 

Or what are years to Thee ? 

But unto me, revolving years 

Bring change, bring feebler breath ; 

Bring age, — and, though they bring no fears, 
Bring slower steps, pain, death. 



344 MEDITATIONS ON A BIRTHDAY EVE. 

This earthly house thy wisdom plann'd, 

And leased me for a term, 
The house I live in, seems to stand 

On its foundation firm. 

I hardly see that it is old ; 

But younger eyes find proof 
Of its long standing, who behold 

The gray moss on its roof. 

Spirit ! thou knowest this house, erelong, 

To kindred dust must fall. 
Hast thou, while in it, grown more strong, 

More ready for the call 

To meet thy Judge, amid " the cloud 

Of witnesses," who 've run 
Their heavenward race, and joined the crowd, 

Who wreaths and crowns have won ? 

Hast thou, in search of Truth, been true ? 

True to thyself and her ? 
And been, with many or with few, 

Her honest worshipper ? 

E'en truths, wherein the Past hath stood, 

Wouldst thou inherit blind ? 
They 're good ; but there 's a better good, — 

The power more truths to find. 

And hast thou occupied that power, 

And made one talent five ? 
If so, then peaceful be this hour ! 

Thou 'st saved thy soul alive. 



MEDITATIONS ON A BIRTHDAY EVE. 345 

Hast thou e'er given the world a page, 

A line that thou wouldst blot, 
As adverse to an upward age ? 

God knoweth thou hast not ! 

Giver of life and all my powers, 

To thee my soul I lift ! 
And in these lone and thoughtful hours, 

I thank thee for the gift. 

Day, with its toil and care withdrawn, 

Night's shadows o'er me thrown, 
Another of my years is gone, 

And here I sit alone. 

No, not alone ! for with me sit 

My judges, — God and I ; 
And the large record we have writ, 

Is lying open by. 

And as I hope, erelong, to swell 

The song of seraphim, 
And as that song the truth will tell, 

My judgment is with Him. 

Spirit ! thy race is nearly run. 

Say, hast thou run it well ? 
Thy work on earth is almost done ; 

How done, no man can tell. 

Spirit, toil on ! thy house, that stands 

Seventy years old and seven, 
Will fall ; but one, " not made with hands," 

Awaiteth thee in heaven. 

15* 



THE GRANDMOTHER OF SLAVES. 



BY HER GRANDDAUGHTER. 




HAD a great treasure in my maternal 
grandmother, who was a remarkable 
woman in many respects. She was 
the daughter of a planter in South Car- 
olina, who, at his death, left her and her mother 
free, with money to go to St. Augustine, where 
they had relatives. It was during the Revolution- 
ary War, and they were captured on their passage, 
carried back, and sold to different purchasers. 
Such was the story my grandmother used to tell 
me. She was sold to the keeper of a large hotel, 
and I have often heard her tell how hard she fared 
during childhood. But as she grew older, she 
evinced so much intelligence, and was so faithful, 
that her master and mistress could not help seeing 
it was for their interest to take care of such a 
valuable piece of property. She became an indis- 
pensable person in the household, officiating in all 
capacities, from cook and wet-nurse to seamstress. 



THE GRANDMOTHER OF SLAVES. 347 

She was much praised for her cooking ; and her 
nice crackers became so famous in the neighbor- 
hood that many people were desirous of obtaining 
them. In consequence of numerous requests of 
this kind, she asked permission of her mistress, to 
bake* crackers at night, after all the household 
work was done ; and she obtained leave to do it, 
provided she would clothe herself and the children 
from the profits. Upon these terms, after working 
hard all day for her mistress, she began her mid- 
night bakings, assisted by her two oldest children. 
The business proved profitable ; and each year she 
laid by a little, to create a fund for the purchase 
of her children. Her master died, and his prop- 
erty was divided among the heirs. My grand- 
mother remained in the service of his widow, as 
a slave. Her children were divided among her 
master's children ; but, as she had five, Benjamin, 
the youngest, was sold, in order that the heirs 
might have an equal portion of dollars and cents. 
There was so little difference in our ages, that he 
always seemed to me more like a brother than an 
uncle. He was a bright, handsome lad, nearly 
white ; for he inherited the complexion my grand- 
mother had derived from Anglo-Saxon ancestors. 
His sale was a terrible blow to his mother ; but 
she was naturally hopeful, and she went to work 
with redoubled energy, trusting in time to be able 
to purchase her children. One day, her mistress 
begged the loan of three hundred dollars from the 



348 THE GRANDMOTHER OF SLAVES. 

little fond she had laid up from the proceeds of 
her baking. She promised to pay her soon ; »but 
as no promise, or writing, given to a slave is legally 
binding, she was obliged to trust solely to her 
honor. 

In my master's house very little attention was 
paid to the slaves' meals. If they could catch a 
bit of food while it was going, well and good. 
But I gave myself no trouble on that score ; for 
on my various errands I passed my grandmother's 
house, and she always had something to spare for 
me. I was frequently threatened with punishment 
if I stopped there ; and my grandmother, to avoid 
detaining me, often stood at the gate with some- 
thing for my breakfast or dinner. I was indebted 
to her for all my comforts, spiritual or temporal. 
It was her labor that supplied my scanty ward- 
robe. I have a vivid recollection of the linsey- 
woolsey dress given me every winter by Mrs. 
Flint. How I hated it ! It was one of the badges 
of slavery. While my grandmother was thus 
helping to support me from her hard earnings, the 
three hundred dollars she lent her mistress was 
never repaid. When her mistress died, my master, 
who was her son-in-law, was appointed executor. 
When grandmother applied to him for payment, 
he said the estate was insolvent, and the law pro- 
hibited payment. It did not, however, prohibit 
him from retaining the silver candelabra, which 
had been purchased with that money. I presume 



THE GRANDMOTHER OF SLAVES. 349 

they will be handed down in the family, from 
generation to generation. 

My grandmother's mistress had always promised 
that, at her death, she should be free ; and it was 
said that in her will she made good the promise. 
But when the estate was settled, Dr. Flint told 
the faithful old servant that, under existing cir- 
cumstances, it was necessary she should be sold. 

On the appointed day, the customary advertise- 
ment was posted up, proclaiming that there would 
be " a public sale of negroes, horses, &c." Dr. 
Flint called to tell my grandmother that he was 
unwilling to wound her feelings by putting her up 
at auction, and that he would prefer to dispose of 
her at private sale. She saw through his hypocrisy, 
and understood very well that he was ashamed of 
the job. She was a very spirited woman, and if he 
was base enough to sell her, after her mistress had 
made her free by her will, she was determined 
the public should know it. She had, for a long 
time, supplied many families with crackers and 
preserves ; consequently u Aunt Marthy," as she 
was called, was generally known ; and all who 
knew her respected her intelligence and good 
character. It was also well known that her mis- 
press had intended to leave her free, as a reward 
'for her long and faithful services. When the day 
of sale came, she took her place among the chat- 
tels, and at the first call she sprang upon the auc- 
tion-block. She was then fifty years old. Many 



350 THE GRANDMOTHER OF SLAVES. 

voices called out, " Shame ! Shame ! Who 's going 
to sell you, Aunt Marthy ? Don't stand there ! 
That 's no plaoe for you I ' She made no answer, 
but quietly awaited her fate. No one bid for her. 
At last, a feeble voice said, " Fifty dollars." It 
came from a maiden lady, seventy years old, the 
sister of my grandmother's deceased mistress. She 
had lived forty years under the same roof with my 
grandmother ; she knew how faithfully she had 
served her owners, and how cruelly she had been 
defrauded of her rights, and she resolved to pro- 
tect her. The auctioneer waited for a higher bid ; 
but her wishes were respected ; no one bid above 
her. The old lady could neither read nor write ; 
and when the bill of sale was made out, she signed 
it with a cross. But of what consequence was that, 
when she had a big heart overflowing with human 
kindness ? She gave the faithful old servant her 
freedom. 

My grandmother had always been a mother to 
her orphan grandchildren, as far as that was possi- 
ble in a condition of slavery. Her perseverance 
and unwearied industry continued unabated after 
her time was her own, and she soon became mis- 
tress of a snug little home, and surrounded herself 
with the necessaries of life. She would have been 
happy, if her family could have shared them with 
her. There remained to her but three children and 
two grandchildren ; and they were all slaves. Most 
earnestly did she strive to make us feel that it was 



THE GRANDMOTHER OF SLAVES. 351 

the will of God ; that He had seen fit to place us 
under such circumstances ; and, though it seemed 
hard, we ought to pray for contentment. It was 
a beautiful faith, coming from a mother who could 
not call her children her own. But I, and Benja- 
min, her youngest boy, condemned it. It appeared 
to us that it was much more according to the will 
of God that we should be free, and able to make a 
home for ourselves, as she had done. There we 
always found balsam for our troubles. She was so 
loving, so sympathizing ! She always met us with 
a smile, and listened with patience to all our sor- 
rows. She spoke so hopefully, that unconsciously 
the clouds gave place to sunshine. There was a 
grand big oven there, too, that baked bread and 
nice things for the town ; and we knew there was 
always a choice bit in store for us. But even the 
charms of that old oven failed to reconcile us to 
our hard lot. Benjamin was now a tall, handsome 
lad, strongly and gracefully made, and with a spirit 
too bold and daring for a slave. 

One day, his master attempted to flog him for 
not obeying his summons quickly enough. Benja- 
min resisted, and in the struggle threw his master 
down. To raise his hand against a white man was 
a great crime according to the laws of the State, 
and to avoid a cruel public whipping, Benjamin 
hid himself and made his escape. My grand- 
mother was absent visiting an old friend in the 
country, when this happened. When she returned, 



352 THE GRANDMOTHER OF SLAVES. 

and found her youngest child had fled, great was 
her sorrow. But, with characteristic piety, she 
said, " God's will he done." Every morning she 
inquired whether any news had been heard from 
her boy. Alas, news did come ; sad news. The 
master received a letter, and was rejoicing over the 
capture of his human chattel. 

That day seems to me but as yesterday, so well 
do I remember it. I saw him led through the 
streets in chains to jail. His face was ghastly 
pale, but full of determination. He had sent some 
one to his mother's house, to ask her not to come 
to meet him. He said the sight of her distress 
would take from him all self-control. Her heart 
yearned to see him, and she went; but she 
screened herself in the crowd, that it might be 
as her child had said. 

We were not allowed to visit him. But we 
had known the jailer for years, and he was a kind- 
hearted man. At midnight he opened the door 
for my grandmother and myself to enter, in dis- 
guise. When we entered the cell, not a sound 
broke the stillness. " Benjamin," whispered my 
grandmother. No answer. " Benjamin ! " said 
she, again, in a faltering tone. There was a jin- 
gling of chains. The moon had just risen, and cast 
an uncertain light through the bars. We knelt 
down and took Benjamin's cold hands in ours. 
Sobs alone were heard, while she wept upon his 
neck. At last Benjamin's lips were unsealed. 



THE GRANDMOTHER OF SLAVES. 353 

Mother and son talked together. He asked her 
pardon for the suffering he had caused her. She 
told him she had nothing to forgive ; that she 
could not blame him for wanting to be free. He 
told her that he broke away from his captors, and 
was about to throw himself into the river, but 
thoughts of her came over him and arrested the 
movement. She asked him if he did not also 
think of God. He replied, " No, mother, I did 
not. When a man is hunted like a wild beast, 
he forgets that there is a God." 

The pious mother shuddered, as she said, 
" Don't talk so, Benjamin. Try to be humble, 
and put your trust in God." 

" I wish I had some of your goodness," he re- 
plied. " You bear everything patiently, just as 
though you thought it was all right. I wish I 
could." 

She told him it had not always been so with 
her ; that once she was like him ; but when sore 
troubles came upon her, and she had no arm to 
lean upon, she learned to call on God, and he 
lightened her burdens. She besought him to do 
so likewise. 

The jailer came to tell us we had overstayed our 
time, and we were obliged to hurry away. Grand- 
mother went to the master and tried to intercede 
for her son. But he was inexorable. He said 
Benjamin should be made an example of. That 
he should be kept in jail till he was sold. For 

w 



354 THE GRANDMOTHER OF SLAVES. 

three months he remained within the walls of the 
prison, during which time grandmother secretly 
conveyed him changes of clothes, and as often as 
possible carried him something warm for supper, 
accompanied with some little luxury for her friend 
the jailer. He was finally sold to a slave-trader 
from New Orleans. When they fastened irons 
upon his wrists to drive him off with the coffle, 
it was heart-rending to hear the groans of that 
poor mother, as she clung to the Benjamin of her 
family, — her youngest, her pet. He was pale 
and thin now from hardships and long confine- 
ment, but still his good looks were so observable, 
that the slave-trader remarked he would give any 
price for the handsome lad, if he were a girl. 
We, who knew so well what slavery was, were 
thankful that he was not. 

Grandmother stifled her grief, and with strong 
arms and unwavering faith set to work to pur- 
chase freedom for Benjamin. She knew the slave- 
trader would charge three times as much as he 
gave for him ; but she was not discouraged. She 
employed a lawyer to write to New Orleans, and 
try to negotiate the business for her. But word 
came that Benjamin was missing ; he had run away 
again. 

Philip, my grandmother's only remaining son, 
inherited his mother's intelligence. His mistress 
sometimes trusted him to go with a cargo to 
New York. One of these occasions occurred not 



THE GRANDMOTHER OF SLAVES. 355 

long after Benjamin's second escape. Through 
God's good providence the brothers met in the 
streets of New York. It was a happy meeting, 
though Benjamin was very pale and thin ; for, on 
his way from bondage, he had been taken violently 
ill, and brought nigh unto death. Eagerly he 
embraced his brother, exclaiming, " Phil ! here 
I am at last ! I came nigh dying when I was 
almost in sight of freedom ; and O how I prayed 
that I might live just to get one breath of free 
air ! And here I am. In the old jail I used to 
wish I was dead. But life is worth something 
now, and it would be hard to die." He begged 
his brother not to go back to the South, but to 
stay and work with him till they earned enough 
to buy their relatives. 

Philip replied : "It would kill mother if I de- 
serted her. She has pledged her house, and is 
working harder than ever to buy you. Will you 
be bought ? " 

" Never ! ' replied Benjamin, in his resolute 
tone. " When I have got so far out of their 
clutches, do you suppose, Phil, that I would 
ever let them be paid one red cent ? Do you 
think I would consent to have mother turned out 
of her hard-earned home in her old age ? And 
she never to see me after she had bought me ? 
For you know, Phil, she would never leave the 
South while any of her children or grandchildren 
remained in slavery. What a good mother ! Tell 



356 THE GRANDMOTHER OF SLAVES. 

her to buy you, Phil. You have always been a 
comfort to her ; and I have always been making 
her trouble." 

Philip furnished his brother with some clothes, 
and gave him what money he had. Benjamin 
pressed his hand, and said, with moistened eyes, 
" I part from all my kindred." And so it proved. 
We never heard from him afterwards. 

When Uncle Philip came home, the first words 
he said, on entering the house, were : " O, 
mother, Ben is free ! I have seen him in New 
York." For a moment, she seemed bewildered. 
He laid his hand gently on her shoulder, and re- 
peated what he had said. She raised her hands 
devoutly, and exclaimed, " God be praised ! Let 
us thank Him." She dropped on her knees, and 
poured forth her heart in prayer. When she 
grew calmer, she begged Philip to sit down and 
repeat every word her son had said. He told her 
all, except that Benjamin had nearly died on the 
way, and was looking very pale and thin. 

Still the brave old woman toiled on to accom- 
plish the rescue of her remaining children. After 
a while, she succeeded in buying Philip, for whom 
she paid eight hundred dollars, and came home 
with the precious document that secured his free- 
dom. The happy mother and son sat by her 
hearth-stone that night, telling how proud they 
were of each other, and how they would prove to 
the world that they could take care of themselves, 



THE GRANDMOTHER OF SLAVES. 357 

as they had long taken care of others. We all 
concluded by saying, " He that is willing to be a 
slave, let him be a slave." 

My grandmother had still one daughter remain- 
ing in slavery. She belonged to the same master 
that I did ; and a hard time she had of it. She 
was a good soul, this old Aunt Nancy. She did 
all she could to supply the place of my lost mother 
to us orphans. She was the factotum in our 
master's household. She was housekeeper, wait- 
ing-maid, and everything else ; nothing went on 
well without her, by day or by night. She wore 
herself out in their service. Grandmother toiled 
on, hoping to purchase release for her. But one 
evening word was brought that she had been sud- 
denly attacked with paralysis, and grandmother 
hastened to her bedside. Mother and daughter had 
always been devotedly attached to each other ; and 
now they looked lovingly and earnestly into each 
other's eyes, longing to speak of secrets that weighed 
on the hearts of both. She lived but two days, and 
on the last day she was speechless. It was sad to 
witness the grief of her bereaved mother. She 
had always been strong to bear, and religious 
faith still supported her ; but her dark life had 
become still darker, and age and trouble were 
leaving deep traces on her withered face. The 
poor old back was fitted to its burden. It bent 
under it, but did not break. 

Uncle Philip asked permission to bury his 



358 THE GRANDMOTHER OF SLAVES. 

sister at his own expense ; and slaveholders are 
always ready to grant such favors to slaves and 
their relatives. The arrangements were very 
plain, but perfectly respectable. It was talked of 
by the slaves as a mighty grand funeral. If 
Northern travellers had been passing through the 
place, perhaps they would have described it as a 
beautiful tribute to the humble dead, a touching 
proof of the attachment between slaveholders and 
their slaves ; and very likely the mistress would 
have confirmed this impression, with her handker- 
chief at her eyes. We could have told them how 
the poor old mother had toiled, year after year, to 
buy her son Philip's right to his own earnings ; 
and how that same Philip had paid the expenses 
of the funeral, which they regarded as doing so 
much credit to the master. 

There were some redeeming features in our 
hard destiny. Very pleasant are my recollections 
of the good old lady who paid fifty dollars for the 
purpose of making my grandmother free, when 
she stood on the auction-block. She loved this 
old lady, whom we all called Miss Fanny. She 
often took tea at grandmother's house. On such 
occasions, the table was spread with a snow-white 
cloth, and the china cups and silver spoons were 
taken from the old-fashioned buffet. There were 
hot muffins, tea-rusks, and delicious sweetmeats. 
My grandmother always had a supply of such arti- 
cles, because she furnished the ladies of the town 



THE GRANDMOTHER OF SLAVES. 359 

with such things for their parties. She kept two 
cows for that purpose, and the fresh cream was 
Miss Fanny's delight. She invariably repeated 
that it was the very best in town. The old ladies 
had cosey times together. They would work and 
chat, and sometimes, while talking over old times, 
their spectacles would get dim with tears, and 
would have to be taken off and wiped. When 
Miss Fanny bade us " Good by," her bag was 
always filled with grandmother's best cakes, and 
she was urged to come again soon. 

[Here follows a long account of persecutions 
endured by the granddaughter, who tells this 
story. She finally made her escape, after encoun- 
tering great dangers and hardships. The faithful 
old grandmother concealed her for a long time at 
great risk to them both, during which time she 
tried in vain to buy free papers for her. At last 
there came a chance to escape in a vessel North- 
ward bound. She goes on to say : — ] 

All arrangements were made for me to go on 
board at dusk. Grandmother came to me with a 
small bag of money, which she wanted me to take. 
I begged her to keep at least part of it ; but she 
insisted, while her tears fell fast, that I should take 
the whole. " You may be sick among strangers," 
said she ; " and they would send you to the 
poor-house to die." Ah, that good grandmother ! 
Though I had the blessed prospect of freedom 
before me, I felt dreadfully sad at leaving forever 



360 THE GRANDMOTHER OF SLAVES. 

that old homestead, that had received and sheltered 
me in so many sorrows. Grandmother took me by 
the hand, and said, " My child, let us pray." We 
knelt down together, with my arm clasped round 
the faithful, loving old friend I was about to leave 
forever. On no other occasion has it been my lot 
to listen to so fervent a supplication for mercy and 
protection. It thrilled through my heart and in- 
spired me with trust in God. I staggered into the 
street, faint in body, though strong of purpose. I 
did not look back upon the dear old place, though 
I felt that I should never see it again. 

[The granddaughter found friends at the North, 
and, being uncommonly quick in her perceptions, 
she soon did much to supply the deficiencies of 
early education. While leading a worthy, indus- 
trious life in New York, she twice very narrowly 
escaped becoming a victim to the infamous Fugi- 
tive Slave Law. A noble-hearted lady purchased 
her freedom, and thereby rescued her from further 
danger. She thus closes the story of her venerable 
ancestor : — ] 

My grandmother lived to rejoice in the knowl- 
edge of my freedom ; but not long afterward a let 
ter came to me with a black seal. It was from a 
friend at the South, who informed me that she had 
gone " where the wicked cease from troubling, and 
where the weary are at rest." Among the gloomy 
recollections of my life in bondage come tender 
memories of that good grandmother, like a few 



THE GRANDMOTHER OF SLAVES. 361 

fleecy clouds floating over a dark and troubled 
sea* TT T 

xi, J. 

Note. — The above account is no fiction. The' 
author, who was thirty years in slavery, wrote it 
in an interesting book entitled " Linda." She is 
an esteemed friend of mine ; and I introduce this 
portion of her. story here to illustrate the power 
of character over circumstances. She has intense 
sympathy for those who are still suffering in the 
bondage from which she escaped. She is now 
devoting all her energies to the poor refugees in 
our camps, comforting the afflicted, nursing the 
sick, and teaching the children. On the 1st of 
January, 1863, she wrote me a letter, which began 
as follows : " I have lived to hear the Proclama- 
tion of Freedom for my suffering people. All my 
wrongs are forgiven. I am more than repaid for 
all I have endured. Glory to God in the highest! '' 

L. M. C. 



We hear men often enough speak of seeing God 

in the stars and the flowers, but they will never be 

truly religious, till they learn to behold Him in 

each other also, where He is most easily, yet most 

rarely discovered. 

J. R. Lowell. 
16 



AULD LANG SYNE. 

By ROBERT BURNS. 

SHOULD auld acquaintance be forgot, 
And never brought to min' ? 
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, 
And days o' lang syne ? 

CHORUS. 

For auld lang syne, my dear, 

For auld lang syne ; 
We '11 tak' a cup o' kindness yet, 

For auld lang syne. 

We twa hae ran about the braes, 

And pu'd the gowans * fine ; 
But we 've wandered mony a weary foot, 

Sin' auld lang syne. 



We twa hae paidl't i' the burn,f 
Frae morning sun till dine ; 



* "Wild daisies. 



t Brook. 



AULD LANG SYNE. 363 

But seas between us braid hae roared 
Sin' auld lang syne. 

CHORUS. 

For auld lang syne, my dear, 

For auld lang syne ; 
We '11 tak' a cup o' kindness yet, 

For auld lang syne. 



OLD FOLKS AT HOME. 

They love the places where they wandered 

When they were young ; 
They love the books they 've often pondered, 
They love the tunes they 've sung. 

The easy-chair, so soft and dozy, 

Is their delight ; 
The ample slippers, warm and cozy, 
And the dear old bed at night. 

CHORUS. 

Near their hearth-stones, warm and cheery, 

Where, by night or day, 
They 're free to rest when they are weary, 
There the old folks love to stay. 

L. M. C. 



OLD UNCLE TOMMY. 



FROM THE CHRISTIAN REGISTER. 



" Let him, where and when he will, sit down 
Beneath the trees, or by the grassy bank 
Of highway-side, and with the little birds 
Share his chance-gathered meal ; and finally, 
As in the eye of Nature he has lived, 
So in the eye of Nature let him die." 

Wordsworth. 

Hj) HE morning after the storm was calm 
and beautiful ; just one of those days 
so dear to every lover of Nature ; 
i for every true worshipper of our all- 
bountiful Mother is a poet at heart, though his 
lips may often fail to utter the rich experience of 
his soul. The air was full of fragrance and the 
songs of birds. Here and there a gentle breeze 
would shower down the drops of moisture from 
the trees, forming a mimic rain ; every bush and 
shrub, and each separate blade of grass, glittered 
in the morning sunlight, as if hung with brightest 
jewels. The stillness was in harmony with the 




OLD UNCLE TOMMY. 365 

day of rest, and only the most peaceful thoughts 
were suggested by this glorious calm, returning 
after the tempest. 

The late proprietor of the Leigh Manor had pre- 
sented a small, though very perfect, chime of bells 
to Leighton Church ; they had never been success- 
fully played until now, when the ringers, having 
become more skilful, they for the first time pealed 
a regular chant ; and right merrily did the sound 
go forth over the quiet plain. 

To God the mighty Lord, 

Your joyful songs repeat ; 
To Him your praise accord, 

As good as He is great. 

" Ah," said an old man, leaning on his staff, 
and gazing at the bells, " how I wish the Masther 
could a' heard ye ! Well, p'r'aps he does hear the 
bonny bells a-praising God. God bless thee, dear 
Masther, and have thee forever in his holy keep- 
ing ! " and raising his hat reverently from his head, 
the old man stood with the white hair streaming 
back upon his shoulders, leaving unshaded his up- 
turned countenance, where were visible the traces 
of many a conflict and of many a hard-earned vic- 
tory ; the traces only, for time and living faith had 
smoothed the deeper marks. As in Nature this 
morning you saw there had been storm and fierce 
strife ; but now all was at peace. The clear blue 
eye of the aged man shone with a brighter light 
than youth alone can give. It was the undying 



366 OLD UNCLE TOMMY. 

light of immortality ; for, old and poor and igno- 
rant as he was, to worldly eyes, his soul had at- 
tained a noble stature ; and as he stood there with 
uncovered head, in the June sunshine, there was a 
majesty about him which no mere earthly rank 
can impart. You saw before you a child of the 
Great Father ; you felt that he communed in spirit 
with his God, as with a dear and loving parent ; 
that the Most High was very nigh unto him. And 
yet this man dwelt amongst the paupers of a coun- 
try almshouse, and men called him insane ! But 
he was " harmless," they said ; so he was allowed 
to come and go about the neighborhood, as he 
pleased, and no one feared him. 

The little children, as they passed to Sunday 
School this morning, stepped more lightly, lest 
they should disturb him ; for he was a favorite 
with the " little people," as he called them. 

When beyond his hearing, they whispered to 
one another, " I don't believe Uncle Tommy is 
crazy, do you ? I never want to plague him ; he 's 
so kind." 

" He is n't a mite like laughing Davy," said 
another ; " for Daw is real mischievous some- 
times, and Uncle Tommy is n't a bit ; what do 
you s'pose folks call him crazy for ? " 

"I'm sure I don't know," whispered a third, 
'■ for he knows ever so much. I guess it 's 'cause 
he seems as he does now ; and nobody else ever 
does, do they ? That 's what folks laugh at." 



OLD UNCLE TOMMY. 367 

" Well, it 's too bad," exclaimed a rosy little 
girl of nine.or ten summers. " I mean to go speak 
to him. That '11 wake him up. He 's always so 
good to us, I Tiate to have folks look queer at him, 
and make fun of his ways." 

" Why, Nelly, he don't care for the laughing." 

" No matter ; I do," stoutly maintained the 
child ; and going up to the old man, she softly 
pulled his clean, patched sleeve, and said, " Uncle 
Tommy, if you please, do look here ! " 

He did not seem to hear her for a little while ; 
then passing his hand across his forehead, as if 
rousing himself, he turned, with a pleasant, cheer- 
ing manner, to the children, who had gathered 
around him : " Ah ! little Nelly, is it you ? and 
all my little people ? why you 're out early this 
good morning. May the blessing of Our Father 
shine through your young hearts, making beautiful 
your lives, as the sunshine makes beautiful your 
fresh young faces !" 

" Uncle Tommy," said John Anton, " what 
makes you love the sun so like everything ? " 

Old Tommy smiled at the boy's eagerness ; but 
looking upward, he answered : "I love it as the 
first, brightest gift of Our Father. I see in it the 
purest emblem of Him whose dwelling is the light." 
After a moment's silence, he extended his hands 
over the children's heads, saying fervently, " Pour 
thy light into their souls, O Father, that, the eyes 
of the mind being opened, they may see Thee in 



368 OLD UNCLE TOMMY. 

all thy works ! " Then taking Nelly by the 
hand, he asked, if they were not too soon for 
school. 

" Yes," answered she ; " for we came to hear 
the bells chime. It 's so pleasant, Uncle Tommy, 
perhaps you will tell us something. Just a little 
while, till the teachers come." 

" O yes, do now, Uncle Tommy, tell us some 
of the nice stories you know," chimed in the 
whole group. 

" I '11 be still as a mouse, if you will," coaxed 
a lively child, whose ceaseless motion usually dis- 
turbed all quiet talk. 

Uncle Tommy patted her curly head, and good- 
naturedly consented to gratify them, " if they 
would try and be good as the flowers in the 
meadow yonder." 

" Yes, yes, we will," shouted they. 

" Now lean on me, and I '11 help you, Uncle 
Tommy," said Nelly, who usually assumed the 
charge of him when she found an opportunity. 
So, with one hand resting upon her shoulder, and 
the other supported by his staff, the old man, who 
looked older now, as his hat shaded his face, moved 
feebly forward, surrounded by the happy children. 
They walked a few steps beyond the corner of the 
church, and soon came to a projection in one of 
the buttresses, that was often used by the people 
as a seat in summer ; hither they carefully led 
Uncle Tommy, who could still enjoy his beloved 



OLD UNCLE TOMMY. 369 

sunshine, whilst he rested his weary limbs. It was 
a sight worthy of an artist's pencil ; the ancient 
stone church, the venerable man, the young chil- 
dren, the lofty trees, the birds, the shadows, the 
sunlight, and the graves. 

" Sha'n't I take off your hat," asked John, " so 
you can feel warm ? ' and away went the hat, to 
the mutual satisfaction of Uncle Tommy and the 
children ; for they loved him, and liked to see his 
white hair in the bright sunbeams, — " looking ex- 
actly like the ' Mary's threads ' on the dewy grass, 
so silvery and shiny," Nelly used to say. 

"What are you going to tell us?" urged the 
impatient little Janette, softly. 

He looked all around before speaking ; up at the 
distant blue sky flooded with light ; abroad upon 
the fields clothed in richest verdure ; at the gently 
rustling elms ; the oaks, the yews, and hemlocks 
in the quiet churchyard ; the eager living group 
at his feet ; all were seen in that one compre- 
hensive glance. " It is my birthday, little people," 
said he, at length, smilingly nodding to them. 

" Why Uncle Tommy," cried the astonished 
children, in their simplicity, " do you have birth- 
days, like us ? We thought you was too old ! " 

" Yes, yes," said he, shaking his head, " I 'm 
very old, but I remember my birthdays still. It 's 
ninety years, this blessed day, since I came here 
a wee bit of a baby ; and what a blessed Father 
has led me the long weary way ! " 

16* ! x 



370 OLD UNCLE TOMMY. 

" Shall you like to die, Uncle Tommy ? Do 
you want to die ? " asked Nelly. 

" I want, dear child, to live just as long as our 
Father pleases. I don't feel impatient to go nor 
to stay ; 'cause that a'n't right, Nelly. I want to 
do exactly as God wills ; but I sha'n't feel sorry 
to go when the time comes ; all I wish about it 
is, that the sun may shine like now when I go 
home, and that I may know it." 

Another little boy here joined the group. He 
was the youngest son of the Rector. He had 
only returned home the previous day to pass the 
summer vacation, after a six months' absence. 
There was a little shyness at first between the 
children, which soon disappeared before the kindly 
influence of the old man, in whose eyes all human 
beings were recognized as the children of God. 
With him there were no rich and no poor. 

" Welcome home again, little Herman ! " was 
his greeting, accompanied by a smile so genial, 
it went straight to the boy's heart. 

" Thank you, Uncle Tommy," said he, shaking 
hands, cordially. "'I am right glad to be here, I 
can assure you ; and very glad to see you in your 
old corner, looking so well. But what were you 
saying about 'going home,' when I interrupted 
you by coming up ? Pray go on." 

Before he could answer, Janette said, " It 's 
Uncle Tommy's birthday, this is ! " 

" Indeed ! and how old is he ? " asked Herman, 
looking at the old man for a reply. 



OLD UNCLE TOMMY. 371 

" Ninety years, thank God," was the cheerful 
answer. 

" O what a long, long time to live ! " slowly fell 
from Herman's lips. He was a delicate boy, and 
thoughtful beyond his years, as is often the case 
with invalid children ; and now he rested his 
pale, intelligent face upon his hand, with his eyes 
fixed on Uncle Tommy, and thought what a long, 
long time was ninety years ! Then he looked 
upon the graves, and wondered whether any of 
those whose bodies were lying there knew what 
an old, old man was still seeing the sun shine 
so long after they were gone. There were little 
graves and large ones ; Uncle Tommy knew al- 
most all of them, and still he lived on all alone; 
and they had some of them left families. He 
wondered on and on ; his reverie was short, but 
crowded with perplexing thoughts. 

Uncle Tommy put an end to it, by saying, in 
answer to Herman's words, " The time is only 
long, when I don't mind our Father's will. When 
I obey, as the sun, and the wind, and all about us 
in Nature does, then I 'm as happy as a cretur can 
be ; and time seems just right. But what I was a 
saying about going home was this ; I a'n't in a 
hurry to go, 'cause I 'm here so long ; nor am I 
wanting to stay ; only just as God pleases. But 
when the time does come, I '11 be glad to go home, 
after my school time here is over. P'r'aps just as 
you feel now, Herman ; and I hope when Uncle 



372 OLD UNCLE TOMMY. 

Tommy has gone, with the sunshine, out there, 
you little people will learn to love the fair works 
of God our Father, just as lie does now. And 
don't forget when you're a going to be unkind or 
naughty, that you little ones, and all the little 
children, and all the grown people, are the fairest, 
noblest of God's works. And if you think of 
Uncle Tommy, when you see the sun shine, and 
the pretty flowers and birds, and remember how 
he loved them, think of him when you are a going 
to strike one another, or do any naughty thing, 
and remember how often he has told you about 
the dear Jesus, who took little children in his arms 
and blessed them, and told all the people, great and 
small, to love God best, and then to love one 
another as they loved themselves. Now if you 
try to think of this, I don't believe you '11 be 
naughty very often ; and the fewer times you 're 
naughty, the happier you '11 be when you look 
round on this dear beautiful world." 

" But, Uncle Tommy," said Nelly, " we forget 
about being good sometimes, when we get cross, 
and everybody scolds at us 'cause we are so 
naughty ; and that makes us act worse, ever so 
much ; don't it, Ann ? " appealing to a girl about 
her own age. 

" Yes," rejoined Ann, " nobody ever says any- 
thing about being good, in the way you do, 
Uncle Tommy ; except in Sunday School, and 
in Church ; and somehow it don't seem just the 



OLD UNCLE TOMMY. 373 

same as when you talk. Oh, Uncle Tommy, I 
believe we should always be good children, if you 
could only be along with us all the time." 

" So do I ! " " And I ! " was heard from the 
little circle. 

" Dear me ! " cried Nelly, impatiently, " how I 
do wish we had a great big world, all our own, 
with nobody ugly to plague us ; only just for 
Uncle Tommy and us to live in. Then we 'd 
be good as could be. Don't you wish so, dear 
Uncle Tommy ? " 

" No, dear children, I wish for no better, or 
bigger world to live in, than this. Our Father put 
us here, and put it in our own power to be happy ; 
that means, to be good ; and if we don't make out 
to do what He wants us to do here, I don't believe 
we should find it half as easy in a world such as 
folks dream about. It 's a wrong notion, to my 
thinking, to s'pose we could behave better in some 
other place than in the one where our lot 's cast 
in life, or at some other time than the present 
time going over our heads. Remember this, dear 
little people, when you grow up, and don't wish 
for anything it is n't God's will you should have. 
Try all you can to mind the Lord, who loves you 
so well ; and if trouble and sorrow come to you, 
as they do to every human cretur, and you can be 
sure it 's not your own doing, then patiently trust 
in our Father, and remember what the dear bells 
say: — 



374 OLD UNCLE TOMMY. 

* For God doth prove 
Our constant friend ; 
His boundless love 
Will never end.' 

You 're little and young, and full of health now, 
so you don't know what I mean, as you will 
by and by, when you grow older ; but you can 
remember, if you can't quite take it in, that I tell 
you, after trying it for a good many years, I know 
our happiness depends a deal more on ourselves 
than on other people ; and it 's only when we 're 
lazy, and don't want to stir ourselves, that we 
think other people have an easier time than we 
do. B'lieve me, dear children, everybody has 
the means of being happy or unhappy in their 
hearts ; and these they must take wherever they 
go ; and these make their home and their world." 

The bell for school began to ring, and the chil- 
dren sprang to their feet instantly, saying, " Good 
by, Uncle Tommy ! It 's school-time now ! " 
" Good by, little ones," said he. " You go to one 
school, and I '11 go to another, among the dumb 
children of our Lord ! " 

Nelly and Ann lingered after the others a 
moment. " Uncle Tommy," said Ann, " we will 
try to do as you want us to, and remember what 
you say." 

He laid his hands upon their heads, and, looking 
up to Heaven, said, " May the Spirit of the dear 
Lord be with ye, and guide your tender feet in 



/ 



OLD UNCLE TOMMY. 375 

the narrow way of life ! Bless them, Father, with 
thy loving presence through their unending life ! " 

There was a moment's pause ; then Ann said 
earnestly, " I love dearly to have you bless me, 
Uncle Tommy " ; and with a " Good by," off 
she ran to school. 

Nelly stopped a moment. She had nestled close 
to the old man's side without speaking, and now, 
throwing her arms around his neck with a real 
overflowing of her young heart, she kissed his 
cheek, and then darted off to join her companions 
in school. Uncle Tommy was surprised, for Nelly 
did not often express her affection by caresses, as 
most children do, but by kind deeds. 

The action, slight though it was, touched a 
long silent chord in the old man's memory. The 
curtain veiling the past seemed withdrawn, and 
again he was a child. There was the path from 
the village across the church-yard, just as it was 
when first his mother had led him to church, a 
tiny thing clinging to her skirts. He was the 
youngest of seven, and the pet ; O so long ago ! 
He saw again before him his young brothers and 
sisters, full of healthful glee ; then other forms 
of long-parted ones joined the procession of years ; 
his sisters' and brothers' children ; his own cher- 
ished wife and much-loved boys and girls : all 
gone, long, long years ago ; and he alone, of all 
that numerous company, remained. " Thou, Fa- 
ther, hast ever been on my right hand and on 



376 OLD UNCLE TOMMY. 

my left ; very safely hast thou led me on through 
joy and sorrow unto this shining day ; blessed be 
thy holy name ! " 

So prayed the old man his last earthly thanks- 
giving. When the people were dispersing to 
their homes after service, one, seeing him sitting 
there in the sheltered nook, came to say " Good 
morning " ; and receiving no answer, he touched 
his hand. It was cold. There he sat in the 
glorious sunshine, his old brown hat by his side, 
wreathed with fresh grass and flowers, as was 
his custom ; but the freed spirit had gone to the 
Father he so lovingly worshipped. 

They made his grave in the sunniest part of 
the church-yard, where an opening in the trees 
afforded a lovely view of the village and the 
meadows, with the gentle flowing river, along 
whose peaceful banks the old man had loved to 
wander, gathering flowers and leaves and grasses, 
and throwing crumbs to the birds, who knew him 
too well to fly from him. Here they laid him, 
at the last, and, instead of monument or head- 
stone, the children brought sweet flowering shrubs, 
and wild brier from the lanes or fields, to plant 
around his quiet grave. 

" Uncle Tommy is not there" said the chil- 
dren. " He has gone home. This is only his 
poor hody, here in the ground ! " Thus did the 
influence of his bright, ever-young spirit remain 
with the " little people" long after Uncle Tommy 
had ceased to talk with them. 



SITTING IN THE SUN. 



WHEN Hope deceives, and friends betray, 
And kinsmen shun me with a flout ; 
When hair grows .white, and eyes grow dim, 

And life's slow sand is nigh run out, 
I '11 ask no boon of any one, 
But sing old songs, and sit i' the sun. 

When memory is my only joy, 

And all my thoughts shall backward turn ; 
When eyes shall cease to glow with love, 

And heart with generous fire to burn, 
I '11 ask no boon of any one, 
But sing old songs, and sit i' the sun. 



When sounds grow low to deafening ears, 
And suns shine not as once they did ; 

When parting is no more a grief, 
And I do whatsoe'er they bid, 

I '11 ask no boon of any one, 

But sing old songs, and sit i' the sun. 



378 SITTING IN THE SUN. 

Then underneath a spreading elm, 
That guards some little cottage door, 

I '11 dance a grandchild on my knee, 
And count my past days o'er and o'er ; 

I '11 ask no boon of any one, 

But sing old songs and sit i' the sun. 

Anonymous. 



How far from here to heaven ? 

Not very far, my friend ; 
A single hearty step 

Will all thy journey end. 

Hold there ! where runnest thou ? 

Know heaven is in thee ! 
Seek'st thou for God elsewhere ? 

His face thou It never see. 

Go out, God will go in ; 

Die thou, and let Him live ; 
Be not, and He will be ; 

Wait, and He '11 all things give. 

I don't believe in death. 

If hour by hour I die, 
'T is hour by hour to gain 

A better life thereby. 

Angelus Silesius, A. D. 1620. 




AUNT KI NDLY. 



By THEODORE PARKER. 




? ISS KINDLY is aunt to everybody, 
and has been, for so long a time, 
that none remember to the contrary. 
The little children love her ; and she 
helped their grandmothers to bridal ornaments 
threescore years ago. Nay, this boy's grandfather 
found that the way to college lay through her 
pocket. Generations not her own rise up and call 
her blessed. To this man's father her patient toil 
gave the first start in life. When that great for- 
tune was a seed, it was she who carried it in her 
hand. That wide river of reputation ran out of 
the cup which her bounty filled. Now she is old, 
very old. The little children, who cling about 
her, with open mouth and great round eyes, won- 
der that anybody should ever be so old ; or ask 
themselves whether Aunt Kindlv ever had a 
mother to kiss her mouth. To them she is coeval 
with the sun, and, like that, an institution of the 



380 AUNT KINDLY. 

country. At Christmas, they think she is the 
wife of St. Nicholas himself, such an advent is there 
of blessings from her hand. 

Her hands are thin, her voice is feeble, her back 
is bent, and she walks with a staff, which is the 
best limb of the three. She wears a cap of an- 
tique pattern, yet of her own nice make. She has 
great round spectacles, and holds her book away 
off the other side of the candle when she reads. 
For more than sixty years she has been a special 
providence to the family. How she used to go 
forth, the very charity of God, to heal and soothe 
and bless ! How industrious are her hands ! How 
thoughtful and witty that fertile mind ! Her heart 
has gathered power to love in all the eighty-six 
years of her toilsome life. When the birth-angel 
came to a related house, she was there to be the 
mother's mother ; ay, mother also to the new- 
born baby's soul. And when the wings of death 
flapped in the street and shook a neighbor's door, 
she smoothed the pillow for the fainting head ; she 
soothed and cheered the spirit of the waiting man, 
opening the curtains of heaven, that he might look 
through and see the welcoming face of the dear 
Infinite Mother ; nay, she put the wings of her 
own strong, experienced piety under him, and 
sought to bear him up. 

Now, these things are passed by. No, they are 
not passed by ; for they are in the memory of the 
dear God, and every good deed she has done is 



AUNT KINDLY. 381 

treasured in her own heart. The bulb shuts up 
the summer in its breast, which in winter will 
come out a fragrant hyacinth. Stratum after 
stratum, her good works are laid up, imperishable, 
in the geology of her character. 

It is near noon, now ; and she is alone. She 
has been thoughtful all day, talking inwardly to 
herself. The family notice it, but say nothing. 
In her chamber, she takes a little casket from her 
private drawer ; and from thence a book, gilt- 
edged and clasped ; but the clasp is worn, the 
gilding is old, the binding faded by long use. Her 
hands tremble as she opens it. First she reads 
her own name, on the fly-leaf ; only her Christian 
name, " Agnes," and the date. Sixty-eight years 
ago, this day, that name was written there, in a 
clear, youthful, clerkly hand, with a little tremble 
in it, as if the heart beat over quick. It is very 
well worn, that dear old Bible. It opens of its 
own accord, at the fourteenth chapter of St. John. 
There is a little folded paper there ; it touches 
the first verse and the twenty-seventh. She sees 
neither ; she reads both out of her soul. " Let 
not your heart be troubled ; ye believe in God, 
believe also in me." " Peace I leave with you. 
My peace I give unto you. Not as the world 
giveth, give I unto you." She opens the paper. 
There is a little brown dust in it, the remnant of a 
flower. She takes the precious relic in her band, 
made cold by emotion. She drops a tear on it, 
and the dust is transfigured before her eyes : it is a 



382 AUNT KINDLY. 

red rose of the spring, not quite half blown, dewy 
fresh. She is old no longer. She is not Aunt 
Kindly now ; she is sweet Agnes, as the maiden 
of eighteen was, eight and sixty years ago, one day 
in May, when all nature was woosome and win- 
ning, and every flower-bell rung in the marriage 
of the year. Her lover had just put that red rose 
of the spring into her hand, and the good God put 
another on her cheek, not quite half-blown, dewy 
fresh. The young man's arm is around her ; her 
brown curls fall on his shoulder ; she feels his 
breath on her face, his cheek on hers ; their lips 
join, and like two morning dew-drops in that rose, 
their two loves rush into one. 

But the youth must wander away to a far land. 
She bids him take her Bible. They will think of 
each other as they look at the North Star. He 
saw the North Star hang over the turrets of many 
a foreign town. His soul went to God ; — there 
is as straight a road thither from India as from any 
other spot. His Bible came back to her ; the 
Divine love in it, without the human lover ; the 
leaf turned down at the blessed words of St. John, 
first and twenty-seventh verse of the fourteenth 
chapter. She put the rose there to mark the spot ; 
what marks the thought holds now the symbol of 
their youthful love. To-day, her soul is with him ; 
her maiden soul with his angel-soul ; and one day 
the two, like two dew-drops, will rush into one 
immortal wedlock, and the old age of earth shall 
become eternal youth in the kingdom of heaven. 




CROSSING OVER. 



FROM THE GERMAN OF UHLAND. 

MANY a year is in its grave, 
Since I crossed this restless wave ; 
And the evening, fair as ever, 
Shines on ruin, rock, and river. 

Then, in this same boat, beside, 
Sat two comrades old and tried ; 
One with all a father's truth, 
One with all the fire of youth. 

One on earth in silence wrought, 
And his grave in silence sought ; 
But the younger, brighter form 
Passed in battle and in storm. 

So, whene'er I turn my eye 

Back upon the days gone by, 

Saddening thoughts of friends come o'er me ; 

Friends who closed their course before me. 



384 CROSSING OVER. 

Yet, what binds us, friend to friend, 
But that soul with soul can blend ? 
Soul-like were those hours of yore — 
Let us walk in soul once more ! 

Take, O boatman, thrice thy fee ! 

Take ! I give it willingly ; 

For, invisibly to thee, 

Spirits twain have crossed with me. 



They are all gone into a world of light, 

And I alone sit lingering here ! 
Their very memory is fair and bright, 

And my sad thoughts doth clear. 

Dear, beauteous Death ! the jewel of the just ! 

Shining nowhere but in the dark ! 
What mysteries do lie beyond thy dust, 

Could man outlook that mark ! 

He that hath found some fledged bird's nest may know, 

At first sight, if the bird be flown ; 
But what fair field or grove he sings in now, 
That is to him unknown. 

And yet, as angels, in some brighter dreams, 

Call to the soul when man doth sleep, 
So some strange thoughts transcend our wonted themes, 
And into glory peep. 

Henry Vaughan. 



A LOVE AFFAIR AT CRANFORD. 



By MRS. GASKELL. 




THOUGHT, after Miss Jenkyns's 
death, that probably my connection 
with Cranford would cease. I was 
pleasantly surprised, therefore, by re- 
ceiving a letter from Miss Pole proposing that I 
should go and stay with her. In a couple of days 
after my acceptance came a note from Miss Matey 
Jenkyns, in which, in a rather circuitous and very 
humble manner, she told me how much pleasure I 
should confer if I could spend a week or two with 
her, either before or after I had been at Miss 
Pole's; "for," she said, "since my dear sister's 
death, I am well aware I have no attractions to 
offer : it is only to the kindness of my friends that 
I can owe their company." 

Of course I promised to go to dear Miss Matey 
as soon as I had ended my visit to Miss Pole. 
The day after my arrival at Cranford, I went to 

17 Y 



386 ^ LOVE AFFAIR AT CRANFORD. 

see her, much wondering what the house would 
be like without Miss Jenkyns, and rather dreading 
the changed aspect of things. Miss Matey began 
to cry as soon as she saw me. She was evidently 
nervous from having anticipated my call. I com- 
forted her as well as I could ; and I found the best 
consolation I could give was the honest praise that 
came from my heart as I spoke of the deceased. 
Miss Matey slowly shook her head over each vir- 
tue, as it was named and attributed to her sister ; 
at last she could not restrain the tears which had 
long been silently flowing, but hid her face behind 
her handkerchief, and sobbed aloud. 

" Dear Miss Matey ! " said I, taking her hand ; 
for indeed I did not know in what way to tell her 
how sorrv I was for her, left deserted in the world. 

She put down her handkerchief and said : " My 
dear, I 'd rather you did not call me Matey. 
She did not like it. But I did many a thing she 
did not like, I 'm afraid ; and now she 's gone ! If 
you please, my love, will you call me Matilda ? ' 

I promised faithfully, and began to practise the 
new name with Miss Pole that very day ; and, by 
degrees, Miss Matilda's feeling on the subject was 
known through Cranford, and the appellation of 
Matey was dropped by all, except a very old 
woman, who had been nurse in the rector's family, 
and had persevered, through many long years, in 
calling the Miss Jenkynses " the girls " : she said 
" Matey " to the day of her death. 



A LOVE AFFAIR AT CRANFORD. 387 

• • • • • 

It seems that Miss Pole had a cousin, once or 
twice removed, who had offered to Miss Matey 
long ago. Now, this cousin lived four or five 
miles from Cranford, on his own estate ; but his 
property was not large enough to entitle him to 
rank higher than a yeoman ; or, rather, with some- 
thing of the " pride which apes humility,'' he had 
refused to push himself on, as so many of his class 
had done, into the rank of the squires. He would 
not allow himself to be called Thomas Holbrook, 
Esq. He even sent back letters with this address, 
telling the postmistress at Cranford that his name 
was Mr. Thomas Holbrook, yeoman. He rejected 
all domestic innovations. He would have the 
house door stand open in summer, and shut in 
winter, without knocker or bell to summon a ser- 
vant. The closed fist, or the knob of the stick, 
did this office for him, if he found the door locked. 
He despised every refinement which had not its 
root deep down in humanity. If people were not 
ill, he saw no necessity for moderating his voice. 
He spoke the dialect of the country in perfection, 
and constantly used it in conversation ; although 
Miss Pole (who gave me these particulars) added, 
that he read aloud more beautifully, and with more 
feeling, than any one she had ever heard, except 
the late rector. 

" And how came Miss Matilda not to marry 
him ? " asked I. 



388 A LOVE AFFAIR AT CRANFORD. 

" Oh, I don't know. She was willing enough, 
I think ; but you know Cousin Thomas would not 
have been enough of a gentleman for the rector 
and Mrs. and Miss Jenkyns." 

" Well, but they were not to marry him," said 
I, impatiently. 

" No, but they did not like Miss Matey to marry 
below her rank. You know she was the rector's 
daughter, and somehow they are related to Sir 
Peter Arley ; Miss Jenkyns thought a deal of 
that." 

" Poor Miss Matev ! " said I. 

" Nay, now, I don't know anything more than 
that he offered and was refused. Miss Matey 
might not like him ; and Miss Jenkyns might 
never have said a word : it is only a guess of 



mine." 



" Has she never seen him since ? " I inquired. 

" No, I think not. You see Woodley (Cousin 
Thomas's house) lies half-way between Cranford 
and Misselton ; and I know he made Misselton his' 
market-town very soon after he had offered to Miss 
Matey ; and I don't think he has been into Cran- 
ford above once or twice since. Once, when I 
was walking with Miss Matey in High Street, she 
suddenly darted from me and went up Shire Lane. 
A few minutes after, I was startled by meeting 
Cousin Thomas." 

" How old is he ? " I asked, after a pause of 
castle-building. 



A LOVE AFFAIR AT CRANFORD. 389 

" He must be about seventy, I tbink, my dear," 
said Miss Pole, blowing up my castle, as if by gun- 
powder, into small fragments. 

Very soon after, I had the opportunity of seeing 
Mr. Holbrook ; seeing, too, his first encounter 
with his former love, after thirty or forty years' 
separation. I was helping to decide whether any 
of the new assortment of colored silks, which thev 
had just received at the shop, would help to match 
a gray and black mousseline-de-laine that wanted 
a new breadth, when a tall, thin, Don Quixote- 
looking old man came into the shop for some 
woollen gloves. I had never seen the person be- 
fore, and I watched him rather attentively, while 
Miss Matey listened to the shopman. The stran- 
ger was rather striking. He wore a blue coat, 
with brass buttons, drab breeches, and gaiters, and 
drummed with his fingers on the counter, until he 
was attended to. When he answered the shop- 
boy's question, " What can I have the pleasure of 
showing you to-day, sir ? ' I saw Miss Matilda 
start, and then suddenly sit down ; and instantly 
I guessed who it was. She had made some in- 
quiry which had to be carried round to the other 
shop. 

" Miss Jenkyns wants the black sarcenet, two- 
and-twopence the yard." Mr. Holbrook caught 
the name, and was across the shop in two strides. 

" Matey, — Miss Matilda, — Miss Jenkyns ! 
Bless my soul ! I should not have known you. 



390 A LOVE AFFAIR AT CRANFORD. 

How are you ? how are you ? " He kept shaking 
her hand, in a way which proved the warmth of 
his friendship ; but he repeated so often, as if to 
himself, " I should not have known you ! " that 
any sentimental romance I might be inclined to 
build was quite done away with by his manner. 

However, he kept talking to us all the time we 
were in the shop ; and then waving the shopman, 
with the unpurchased gloves, on one side, with 
" Another time, sir ! another time ! " he walked 
home with us. I am happy to say Miss Matilda 
also left the shop in an equally bewildered state ; 
not having purchased either green or red silk. 
Mr. Holbrook was evidently full with honest, 
loud-spoken joy at meeting his old love again. 
He touched on the changes that had taken place ; 
he even spoke of Miss Jenkyns as "Your poor 
sister ! Well, well ! we have all our faults " ; 
and bade us good by with many a hope that he 
should soon see Miss Matey again. She went 
straight to her room, and never came back till 
our early tea-time, when I thought she looked as 
if she had been crying. 

A few days after, a note came from Mr. Hol- 
brook, asking us, — impartially asking both of us, 
— in a formal, old-fashioned style, to spend a day 
at his house, — a long, June day, — for it was 
June now. He named that he had also invited 
his cousin, Miss Pole ; so that we might join in a 
fly, which could be put up at his house. 



A LOVE AFFAIR AT CRANFORD. 391 

I expected Miss Matey to jump at this invita- 
tion ; but, no ! Miss Pole and I had the greatest 
difficulty in persuading her to go. She thought it 
was improper ; and was even half annoyed when 
we utterly ignored the idea of any impropriety in 
her going with two other ladies to see her old 
lover. Then came a more serious difficulty. She 
did not think Deborah would have liked her to go. 
This took us half a day's good hard talking to get 
over ; but, at the first sentence of relenting, I 
seized the opportunity, and wrote and despatched 
an acceptance in her name, — fixing day and hour, 
that all might be decided and done with. 

The next morning she asked me if I would go 
down to the shop with her ; and there, after much 
hesitation, we chose out three caps to be sent home 
and tried on, that the most becoming might be 
selected to take with us on Thursday. 

She was in a state of silent agitation all the way 
to Woodley. She had evidently never been there 
before, and although she little dreamt I knew 
anything of her early story, I could perceive she 
was in a tremor at the thought of seeing the place 
which might have been her home, and round 
which it is probable that many of her innocent, 
girlish imaginations had clustered. It was a long 
drive there, through paved, jolting lanes. Miss 
Matilda sat bolt upright, and looked wistfully out 
of the windows, as we drew near the end of our 
journey. The aspect of the country was quiet 



392 A LOVE AFFAIR AT CRANFORD. 

and pastoral. Woodley stood among fields, and 
there was an old-fashioned garden, where roses 
and currant-bushes touched each other, and where 
the feathery asparagus formed a pretty back- 
ground to the pinks and gilly-flowers. There 
was no drive up to the door. We got out at a 
little gate, and walked up a straight, box-edged 
path. 

" My cousin might make a drive, I think," said 
Miss Pole, who was afraid of ear-ache, and had 
only her cap on. » 

" I think it is very pretty," said Miss Matey, 
with a soft plaintiveness in her voice, and almost 
in a whisper, for just* then Mr. Holbrook ap- 
peared at the door, rubbing his hands in the very 
effervescence of hospitality. He looked more like 
my idea of Don Quixote than ever, and yet the 
likeness was only external. His respectable house- 
keeper stood modestly at the door to bid us wel- 
come ; and, while she led the elder ladies up-stairs 
to a bed-room, I begged to look about the garden. 
My request evidently pleased the old gentleman, 
who took me all round the place, and showed me 
his six-and-twenty cows, named after the different 
letters of the alphabet. As we went along, he 
surprised me occasionally by repeating apt and 
beautiful quotations from the poets, ranging easily 
from Shakespeare and George Herbert, to those 
of our own day. He did this as naturally as if 
he were thinking aloud ; as if their true and beau- 



A LOVE AFFAIR AT CRANFORD. 393 

tiful words were the best expression he could find 
for what he was thinking or feeling. To be sure 
he called Byron " my lord Byrron," and' pro- 
nounced the name of Goethe strictly in accord- 
ance with the English sound of the letters. 
Altogether, I never met with a man, before or 
since, who had spent so long a life in a secluded 
and not impressive country, with ever-increasing 
delight in the daily and yearly change of season 
and beauty. 

When he and I went in, we found that dinner 
was nearly ready in the kitchen ; for so I suppose 
the room ought to be called, as there were oak 
dressers and cupboards all round, all over by the 
side of the fireplace, and only a small Turkey car- 
pet in the middle of the flag-floor. The room 
might have been easily made into a handsome, 
dark-oak dining-parlor, by removing the oven, 
and a few other appurtenances of a kitchen, which 
were evidently never used ; the real cooking-place 
being at some distance. The room in which we 
were expected to sit was a stiffly furnished, ugly 
apartment ; but that in which we did sit was what 
Mr. Hoi brook called the counting-house, where he 
paid his laborers their weekly wages, at a great 
desk near the door. The rest of the pretty sit- 
ting-room — looking into the orchard, and all 
covered over with dancing tree-shadows — was 
filled with books. They lay on the ground, they 

covered the walls, they strewed the table. He 
17* 



394 A LOVE AFFAIR AT CRANFORD. 

was evidently half ashamed and half proud of his 
extravagance in this respect. They were of all 
kinds ; poetry, and wild, weird tales prevailing. 
He evidently chose his books in accordance with 
his own tastes, not because such and such were 
classical, or established favorites. 

" Ah ! " he said, " we farmers ought not to 
have much time for reading ; yet somehow one 
can't help it." 

" What a pretty room ! ' said Miss Matey, sotto 
voce. 

" What a pleasant place ! " said I, aloud, al- 
most simultaneously. 

" Nay ! if you like it," replied he ; " but can 
you sit on these great black leather three-cornered 
chairs ? I like it better than the best parlor ; but 
I thought ladies would take that for the smarter 
place." 

It was the smarter place; but, like most smart 
things, not at all pretty, or pleasant, or home- 
like ; so, wdiile we were at dinner, the servant-girl 
dusted and scrubbed the counting-house chairs, 
and we sat there all the rest of the day. 

We had pudding before meat, and I thought 
Mr. Holbrook was going to make some apology 
for his old-fashioned ways ; for he began, " I 
don't know whether you like new-fangled ways." 

"O, not at all!" said Miss Matey. 

" No more do I," said he. " My housekeeper 
will have things in her new fashion ; or else I 



A LOVE AFFAIR AT CRANFORD. 395 

tell her, that when I was a young man, we used 
to keep strictly to my father's rule, ' No broth, 
no ball ; no ball, no beef ; and always began 
dinner with broth. Then we had suet puddings, 
boiled in the broth with the beef; and then the 
meat itself. If we did not sup our broth, we 
had no ball, which we liked a deal better ; and 
the beef came last of all; and only those had it 
who had done justice to the broth and the ball. 
Now, folks begin with sweet things, and turn their 
dinners topsy-turvy." 

When the ducks and green peas came, we 
looked at each other in dismay. We had only 
two-pronged, black-handled forks. It is true, the 
steel was as bright as silver ; but, what were we 
to do ? Miss Matey picked up her peas, one by 
one, on the point of the prongs. Miss Pole sighed 
over her delicate young peas, as she left them on 
one side of her plate untasted ; for they would 
drop between her prongs. I looked at my host: 
the peas were going wholesale into his capacious 
mouth, shovelled up by his large round-ended 
knife. I saw, I imitated, I survived ! My friends, 
in spite of my precedent, could not muster up 
courage enough to do an ungenteel thing ; and, 
if Mr. Holbrook had not been so heartily hungry, 
he would probably have seen that the good peas 
went away almost untouched. 

After dinner, a clay pipe was brought in, and 
a spittoon ; and, asking us to retire to another 



396 A LOVE AFFAIR AT CRANFORD. 

room, where lie would soon join us, if we disliked 
tobacco-smoke, he presented his pipe to Miss 
Matey, and requested her to fill the bowl. This 
was a compliment to a lady in his youth ; but it 
was rather inappropriate to propose it as an honor 
to Miss Matey, who had been trained by her sister 
to hold smoking of every kind in utter abhor- 
rence. But if it was a shock to her refinement, 
it was also a gratification to her feelings, to be 
thus selected ; so she daintly stuffed the strong 
tobacco into the pipe ; and then we withdrew. 

" It is very pleasant dining with a bachelor," 
said Miss Matey, softly, as we settled ourselves 
in the counting-house ; " I only hope it is not 
improper; so many pleasant things are!" 

" What a number of books he has ! " said Miss 
Pole, looking round the room. " And how dusty 
they are ! " 

" I think it must be like one of the great Dr. 
Johnson's rooms," said Miss Matey. "What a 
superior man your cousin must be ! " 

" Yes ! " said Miss Pole ; " he 's a great reader ; 
but I am afraid he has got into very uncouth 
habits with living alone." 

" Oh ! uncouth is too hard a word. I should 
call him eccentric : very clever people always 
are ! " replied Miss Matey. 

When Mr. Holbrook returned, he proposed a 
walk in the fields ; but the two elder ladies were 
afraid of damp and dirt, and had only very 



A LOVE AFFAIR AT CRANFORD. 397 

unbecoming calashes to put on over their caps ; 
so they declined, and I was again his companion 
in a turn which he said he was obliged to take, 
to see after his niece. He strode along, either 
wholly forgetting my existence, or soothed into 
silence by his pipe ; and yet it was not silence 
exactly. He walked before me, with a stooping 
gait, his hands clasped behind him, and as some 
tree, or cloud, or glimpse at distant upland pas- 
tures, struck him, he quoted poetry to himself; 
saying it out loud, in a grand, sonorous voice, with 
just the emphasis that true feeling and appre- 
ciation give. We came upon an old cedar-tree, 
which stood at one end of the house ; 

' More black than ash-buds in the front of March, 
A cedar spread his dark-green layers of shade.' 

Capital term, ' layers ! ' Wonderful man ! ' 

I did not know whether he was speaking to 
me or not ; but I put in an assenting " Wonder- 
ful," although I knew nothing about it ; just be- 
cause I was tired of being forgotten, and of being 
consequently silent. 

He turned sharp round. " Ay ! you may say 
1 wonderful.' Why, when I saw the review of 
his poems in ' Blackwood,' I set oif within an 
hour, and walked seven miles to Misselton (for 
the horses were not in the way), and ordered 
them. Now, what color are ash-buds in March ? " 
Is the man going mad ? thought I. He is very 
like Don Quixote. 



398 A LOVE AFFAIR AT CRANFORD. 

" What color are they, I say ? " repeated he, 
vehemently. 

" I am sure I don't know - sir," said I, with 
the meekness of ignorance. 

" I knew you did n't. No more did I, an old 
fool that I am ! till this young man comes and 
tells me. Black as ash-buds in March. And 
I 've lived all my life in the country ; more 
shame for me not to know. Black ; they are jet- 
black, madam." And he went off again, swing- 
ing along to the music of some rhyme he had 
got hold of. 

When we came home, nothing would serve him 
but that he must read us the poems he had been 
speaking of; and Miss Pole encouraged him in his 
proposal, I thought, because she wished me to hear 
his beautiful reading, of which she had boasted ; 
but she afterwards said it was because she had got 
to a difficult part of crochet, and wanted to count 
her stitches without having to talk. Whatever he 
had proposed would have been right to Miss 
Matey, although she did fall sound asleep within 
five minutes after he began a long poem, called 
" Locksley Hall," and had a comfortable nap, un- 
observed, till he ended, when the cessation of his 
voice wakened her up, and she said, feeling that 
something was expected, and that Miss Pole was 
counting, " What a pretty book ! " 

" Pretty, madam ? It 's beautiful ! Pretty, in- 
deed ! " 



•• 



A LOVE AFFAIR AT CRANFORD. 399 



" O yes, I meant beautiful ! " said she, fluttered 
at his disapproval of her word. " It is so like that 
beautiful poem of Dr. Johnson's my sister used to 
read ! — I forget the name of it ; what was it, my 
dear? " turning to me. 

" Which do you mean, ma'am ? What was it 
about ? " 

" I don't remember what it was about, and I 've 
quite forgotten what the name of it was ; but it 
was written by Dr. Johnson, and was very beau- 
tiful, and very like what Mr. Hoi brook has just 
been reading." 

" I don't remember it," said he, reflectively ; 
" but I don't know Dr. Johnson's poems well. I 
must read them." 

As we were getting into the fly to return, I 
heard Mr. Holbrook say he should call on the 
ladies soon, and inquire how they got home ; and 
this evidently pleased and fluttered Miss Matey at 
the time he said it ; but after we had lost sight of 
the old house among the trees, her sentiments 
towards the master of it were gradually absorbed 
into a distressing wonder as to whether Martha 
had broken her word, and seized on the opportu- 
nity of her mistress's absence to have a " follow- 
er." Martha looked good and steady and com- 
posed enough, as she came to help us out ; she 
was always careful of Miss Matey, and to-night 
she made use of this unlucky speech : " Eh, 
dear ma'am, to think of your going out in an 



400 A LOVE AFFAIR AT CRANFORD. 

evening in such a thin shawl ! It is no better 
than muslin. At your age, ma'am, you should be 
carefuL" 

" My age ! ' said Miss Matey, almost speaking 
crossly, for her, for she was usually gentle ; " my 
age ! Why, how old do you think I am, that you 
talk about my age ? " 

" Well, ma'am, I should say you were not far 
short of sixty ; but folks' looks is often against 
them, and I 'm sure I meant no harm." 

" Martha, I 'm not yet fifty-two ! " said Miss 
Matey, with grave emphasis ; for probably the 
remembrance of her youth had come very vividly 
before her this day, and she was annoyed at find- 
ing that golden time so far away in the past. 

But she never spoke of any former and more 
intimate acquaintance with Mr. Hoi brook. She 
had probably met with so little sympathy in her 
early love, that she had shut it up close in her 
heart ; and it was only by a sort of watching, which 
I could hardly avoid since Miss Pole's confidence, 
that I saw how faithful her poor heart had been in 
its sorrows and its silence. 

She gave me some good reason for wearing her 
best cap every day, and sat near the window, in 
spite of her rheumatism, in order to see, without 
being seen, down into the street. 

He came. He put his open palms upon his 
knees, which were far apart, as he sat with his 
head bent down, whistling, after we had replied to 



A LOVE AFFAIR AT CRANFORD. 401 

his inquiries about our safe return. Suddenly lie 
jumped up. 

" Well, madam, have you any commands for 
Paris ? I 'm going there in a week or two." 

" To Paris ! " we both exclaimed. 

" Yes, ma'am. I 've never been there, and 
always had a wish to go ; and I think if I don't 
go soon I may n't go at all. So as soon as the 
hay is got in I shall go, before harvest- time." 

We were so much astonished that we had no 
commissions. 

Just as he was going out of the room, he turned 
back, with his favorite exclamation, " Bless my 
soul, madam ! but I nearly forgot half my errand. 
Here are the poems for you, you admired so much 
the other evening at my house." He tugged away 
at a parcel in his coat pocket. " Good by, miss ! ' 
said he ; " good by, Matey ! take care of your- 
self." And he was gone. But he had given her 
a book, and he had called her Matey, just as he 
used to do thirty years ago. 

" I wish he would not go to Paris," said Miss 
Matilda, anxiously. " I don't believe frogs will 
agree with him. He used to have to be very care- 
ful what he ate, which was curious in so strong- 
looking a young man." 

Soon after this I took my leave, giving many an 
injunction to Martha to look after her mistress, 
and to let me know if she thought that Miss Ma- 



» 



tilda was not so well ; in which case I would volun- 



402 A LOVE AFFAIR AT CRANFORD. 

teer a visit to my old friend, without noticing 
Martha's intelligence to her. 

Accordingly, I received a line or two from Mar- 
tha every now and then ; and about November I 
had a note to say her mistress was " very low and 
sadly off her food " ; and the account made me so 
uneasy, that, although Martha did not decidedly 
summon me, I packed up my things and went. 

I received a warm welcome, in spite of the little 
flurry produced by my impromptu visit, for I had 
only been able to give a day's notice. Miss 
Matilda looked miserably ill, and I prepared to 
comfort and cosset her. 

I went down to have a private talk with Martha. 

" How long has your mistress been so poorly ? " 
I asked, as I stood by the kitchen fire. 

" Well, I think it 's better than a fortnight ; it 
is, I know. It was one Tuesday, after Miss Pole 
had been here, that she went into this moping way. 
I thought she was tired, and it would go off with 
a night's rest ; but no ! she has gone on and on 
ever since, till I thought it my duty to write to 
you, ma'am." 

" You did quite right, Martha. It is a comfort 
to think she has so faithful a servant about her. 
And I hope you find your place comfortable ? ' 

" Well, ma'am, missus is very kind, and there 's 
plenty to eat and drink, and no more work but 
what I can do easily ; but — " Martha hesitated. 

" But what, Martha ? " 



A LOVE AFFAIR AT CRANFORD. 403 

" Why, it seems so hard of missus not to let me 
have any followers. There 's such lots of young 
fellows in the town, and many a one has as much 
as offered to keep company with me, and I may 
never be in such a likely place again, and it 's like 
wasting an opportunity. Many a girl as I know 
would have 'em unbeknowst to missus ; but I 've 
given my word, and I '11 stick to it ; or else this is 
just the house for missus never to be the wiser if 
they did come. It's such a capable kitchen, — 
there 's such good dark corners in it, — I 'd be 
bound to hide any one. I counted up last Sunday 
night, — for I '11 not deny I was crying because I 
had to shut the door in Jem Hearn's face ; and 
he 's a steady young man, fit for any girl ; only I 
had given missus my word." Martha was all but 
crying again ; and I had little comfort to give her, 
for I knew, from old experience, the horror with 
which both the Miss Jenkynses looked upon " fol- 
lowers " ; and in Miss Matey's present nervous 
state this dread was not like to be lessened. 

I went to see Miss Pole the next day, and took 
her completely by surprise, for she had not been 
to see Miss Matilda for two days. 

" And now I must go back with you, my dear," 
said she ; " for I promised to let her know how 
Thomas Holbrook went on ; and I 'm sorry to say 
his housekeeper has sent me word to-day that he 
has n't long to live. Poor Thomas ! That jour- 
ney to Paris was quite too much for him. His 



404 A LOVE AFFAIR AT CRANFORD. 

housekeeper says he has hardly ever been round 
his fields since, but just sits with his hands on his 
knees in the counting-house, not reading, or any- 
thing, but only saying, what a wonderful city 
Paris was ! Paris has much to answer for, if it 's 
killed my cousin Thomas, for a better man never 
lived." 

" Does Miss Matilda know of his illness ? " asked 
I, a new light as to the cause of her indisposition 
dawning upon me. 

" Dear ! to be sure, yes ! Has she not told 
you ? I let her know a fortnight ago, or more, 
when first I heard of it. How odd, she should n't 
have told you ! " 

Not at all, I thought ; but I did not say any- 
thing. I felt almost guilty of having spied too 
curiously into that tender heart ; and I was not 
going to speak of its secrets, — hidden, Miss Matey 
believed, from all the world. I ushered Miss Pole 
into Miss Matilda's drawing-room ; and then left 
them alone. But I was not surprised when Martha 
came to my bed-room door, to ask me to go down 
to dinner alone, for that missus had one of her bad 
headaches. She came into the drawing-room at 
tea-time ; but it was evidently an eifort for her. 
As if to make up for some reproachful feeling 
against her late sister, Miss Jenkyns, which had 
been troubling her all the afternoon, and for which 
she now felt penitent, she kept telling me how 
good and how clever Deborah was in her youth ; 



A LOVE AFFAIR AT CRANFORD. 405 

how she used to settle what gowns they were to 
wear at all the parties ; (faint, ghostly ideas of 
dim parties far away in the distance, when Miss 
Matey and Miss Pole were young !) and how 
Deborah and her mother had started the benefit 
society for the poor, and taught girls cooking and 
plain sewing ; and how Deborah had danced with 
a lord ; and how she used to visit at Sir Peter 
Arley's, and try to remodel the quiet rectory 
establishment on the plans of Arley Hall, where 
they kept thirty servants ; and how she had nursed 
Miss Matey through a long, long illness, of which 
I had never heard before, but which I now dated, 
in my own mind, as following the dismissal of the 
suit of Mr. Holbrook. So we talked softly and 
quietly of old times, through the long November 
evening. 

The next day, Miss Pole brought us word that 
Mr. Holbrook was dead. Miss Matey heard the 
news in silence. In fact, from the account on the 
previous day, it was only what we had to expect. 
Miss Pole kept calling upon us for some expres- 
sions of regret, by asking if it was not sad that he 
was gone, and saying, — 

" To think of that pleasant day last June, when 
he seemed so well ! And he might have lived this 
dozen years, if he had not gone to that wicked 
Paris, where they are always having Revolu- 
tions." 

She paused for some demonstration on our part. 



406 A LOVE AFFAIR AT CRANFORD. 

I saw Miss Matey could not speak, she was trem- 
bling so nervously, so I said what I really felt-; 
and after a call of some duration, — all the time of 
which I have no doubt Miss Pole thought Miss 
Matey received the news very calmly, — our visitor 
took her leave. But the effort at self-control Miss 
Matey had made to conceal her feelings, — a con- 
cealment she practised even with me ; for she has 
never alluded to Mr. Holbrook again, although 
the book he gave her lies with her Bible on the 
little table by her bedside. She did not think I 
heard her when she asked the little milliner of 
Cranford to make her caps something like the Hon. 
Mrs. Jamieson's ; or that I noticed the reply, — 

" But she wears widows' caps, ma'am ? " 

" O, I only meant something in that style ; 
not widows', of course, but rather like Mrs. 
Jamieson's." 

This effort at concealment was the beginning of 
the tremulous motion of head and hands, which I 
have seen ever since in Miss Matey. 

The evening of the day on which we heard of 
Mr. Holbrook's death, Miss Matilda was very 
silent and thoughtful ; after prayers, she called 
Martha back, and then she stood uncertain what 
to sav. 

" Martha ! " she said at last ; " you are young," 
— and then she made so long a pause, that Martha, 
to remind her of her half-finished sentence, dropped 
a courtesy, and said : " Yes, please, ma'am ; two- 
and-twenty last third October, please, ma'am." 



A LOVE AFFAIR AT CRANFORD. 407 

" And perhaps, Martha, you may some time meet 
with a young man you like, and who likes you. I 
did say you were not to have followers ; but if you 
meet with such a young man, and tell me, and I 
find he is respectable, I have no objection to his 
coming to see you once a week. God forbid ! ' 
said she, in a low voice, " that I should grieve 
any young hearts." 

She spoke as if she were providing for some 
distant contingency, and was rather startled when 
Martha made her ready, eager answer : " Please, 
ma'am, there 's Jem Hearn, and he 's a joiner, 
making three-and-sixpence a day, and six foot one 
in his stocking-feet, please, ma'am ; and if you '11 
ask about him to-morrow morning, every one will 
give him a character for steadiness ; and he '11 be 
glad enough to come to-morrow night, I '11 be 
bound." 

Though Miss Matey was startled, she submitted 
to Fate and Love. 



God is our Father. Heaven is his high throne, 
and this earth is his footstool ; and while we sit 
around and meditate, or pray, one by one, as we 
fall asleep, He lifts us into his bosom, and our 
awaking is inside the gates of an everlasting 
world. — Mountford. 



TO MY WIFE. 

ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF OUR WEDDING. 

NOW, Time and I, near fifty years, 
Have managed kindly to agree ; 
Pleased with the friendship he appears, 
And means that all the world shall see. 

For, with soft touch about my eyes, 
The frosty, kindly, jealous friend 

His drawing-pencil deftly plies, 

And mars the face he thinks to mend. 

Nor am I called alone to wear 

Old Time, " His mark," in deepening trace ; 
That " twain are one," this limner sere 

Will print in lines on either face.- 



*T is not, perhaps, a gallant thing 
On such a morning to be told, 

But Time doth yearly witness bring, 
That — Bless you ! we are growing old. 



TO MY WIFE. 409 

Together we have lived and loved, 

Together passed through smiles and tears, 

And life's all-varying lessons proved 
Through many constant married years. 

And there is joy Time cannot reach, 
A youth o'er which no power he hath, 

If we cling closer, each to each, 

And each to God, in hope and faith. 

Anonymous. 



In the summer evenings, when the wind blew low, 
And the skies were radiant with the sunset glow, 
Thou and I were happy, long, long years ago ! 
Love, the young and hopeful, hovered o'er us twain, 
Filled us with sad pleasure and delicious pain, 
In the summer evenings, wandering in the lane. 

In the winter evenings, when the wild winds roar. 
Blustering in the chimney, piping at the door, 
Thou and I are happy, as in days of yore. 
Love still hovers o'er us, robed in white attire, 
Drawing heavenly music from an earthly lyre, 
In the winter evenings, sitting by the fire. 

Anonymous. 



18 




THE EVERGREEN OF OUR FEELINGS. 

EXTRACTS FROM THE GERMAN OF J. P. RICHTER. 

OPPOSE, as I would every useless 
fear in men, the lamentation that our 
feelings grow old with the lapse of 
years. It is the narrow heart alone 
which does not grow ; the wide one becomes 
larger. Years shrivel the one, but they expand 
the other. Man often mistakes concerning the 
glowing depths of his feelings ; forgetting that they 
may be present in all their energy, though in a 
state of repose. In the wear and tear of daily 
life, amid the care of providing support, per- 
chance under misdemeanors, in comparing one 
child with another, or in daily absences, thou 
mayest not be conscious of the fervent affection 
smouldering under the ashes of every-day life, 
which would at once blaze forth into a flame, if 
thy child were suffering innocently, or condemned 
to die. Thy love was already there, prior to the 
suffering of thy child and thyself. It is the same 



THE EVERGREEN OF OUR FEELINGS. 411 

in wedlock and friendship. In the familiarity of 
daily presence, the heart beats and glows silently ; 
but in the hours of meeting and parting, the 
beautiful radiance of a long-nurtured flame re- 
veals itself. It is on such occasions .that man 
always most pleases me. I am then reminded of 
the glaciers, which beam forth in rosy-red trans- 
parency only at the rising and setting of the sun, 
while throughout the day they look gray and 
dark. 

A golden mine of affection, of which the small- 
est glimmer is scarcely visible, lies buried in the 
breast until some magic word reveals it, and then 
man discovers his ancient treasure. To me, it 
is a delightful thought that, during the familiarity 
of constant proximity, the heart gathers up in 
silence the nutriment of love, as the diamond, 
even beneath water, imbibes the light it emits. 
Time, which deadens hatred, secretly strength- 
ens love ; and in the hour of threatened separa- 
tion its growth is manifested at once in radiant 
brightness. 

Another reason why man fancies himself chilled 
by old age, is that he can then feel interested 
only in higher objects than those which once ex- 
cited him. The lover of nature, the preacher, 
the poet, the actor, or the musician, may, in de- 
clining years, find themselves slightly affected by 
what delighted them in youth ; but this need 
produce no fear that time will mar their sensi- 



412 THE EVERGREEN OF OUR FEELINGS. 

bility to nature, art, and love. Thou, as well as 
I, may indeed weep less frequently than formerly, 
at the theatre or at concerts ; but give us a truly 
excellent piece, and we cannot suppress the emo- 
tion it excites. Youth is like unbleached wax, 
which melts under feeble sun-beams, while that 
which has been whitened is scarcely warmed by 
them. The mature or aged man avoids those 
tears which youth invites ; because in him they 
flow too hot, and dry too slowly. 

Select a man of my age, and of my heart, with 
my life-long want of highland scenery, and con- 
duct him to the valley of the Rhine ! Bring him 
to that long, attractive, sea-like river, flowing 
between vine-clad hills on either side, as between 
two regions of enchantment, reflecting only scenes 
of pleasure, creating islands for the sake of clasp- 
ing them in its arms ; let also a reflection of the 
setting sun glow upon its waters ; and surely 
youth would again be mirrored in the old man, 
and that still ocean of infinity, which in the true 
and highest heaven permits us to look down. 

Memory, wit, fancy, acuteness, cannot grow 
young again in old age ; but the heart can. In 
order to be convinced of this, we need onlv 
remember how the hearts of poets have glowed in 
the autumn and winter seasons of life. He who 
in old age can do without love, never in his youth 
possessed the right sort, over which years have no 
power. During winter, it is the withered branch- 



THE EVERGREEN OF OUR FEELINGS. 413 

es, not the living germs, that become encrusted 
with ice. The loving heart will indeed often 
bashfully conceal a portion of its warmth behind 
children and grandchildren ; so that last love is 
perhaps as coy as the first. But if an aged eye, 
full of soul, is upraised, gleaming with memories 
of its spring-time, is there anything in that to ex- 
cite ridicule ? Even if it were silently moistened, 
partly through gladness, and partly through a 
feeling of the past, would it not be excusable ? 
Might not an aged hand presume to press a young 
hand, merely to signify thereby, I, too, was once 
in Arcadia, and within me Arcadia still remains ? 
In the better sort of men love is an interior senti- 
ment, born in the soul ; why should it not con- 
tinue with the soul to the end ? It is a part of 
the attraction of tender and elevated love that its 
consecrated hours leave in the heart a gentle, con- 
tinuous, distinct influence ; just as, sometimes, 
upon a heavenly spring-evening, fragrance, ex- 
haled from warm blossoms in the surrounding 
country penetrates every street of a city that has 
no gardens. 

I would exhort men to spare every true affec- 
tion, and not to ridicule the overflowings of a 
happy heart with more license than they would 
the effusions of a sorrowing one. For the youth 
of the soul is everlasting, and eternity is youth. 



OUR SECRET DRAWER. 



THERE is a secret drawer in every heart, 
Wherein we lay our treasures, one by one ; 
Each dear remembrance of the buried past, 
Each cherished relic of the time that 's gone. 

The old delights of childhood, long ago ; 

The things we loved because we knew them best ; 
The first discovered primrose in our path ; 

The cuckoo's earliest note ; the robin's nest ; 

The merry haymakings around our home ; 

Our rambles in the summer woods and lanes ; 
The story told beside the winter fire, 

"While the wind moaned across the window panes ; 



The golden dreams we dreamt in after years, 
Those magic visions of our young romance ; 

The sunny nooks, the fountains and the flowers, 
Gilding the fairy landscape of our trance ; 



OUR SECRET DRAWER. 415 

The link which bound us, later still, to one 

Who fills a corner in our life to-day, 
Without whose love we dare not dream how dark 

The rest would seem, if it were gone away ; 

The song that thrilled our souls with very joy ; 

The gentle word that unexpected came ; 
The gift we prized because the thought was kind ; 

The thousand, thousand things that have no name ; 

All these, in some far hidden corner lie, 
Within the mystery of that secret drawer, 

Whose magic springs though stranger hands may touch, 
Yet none may gaze upon its guarded store. 

Anonymous. 



" How seldom, friend, a great, good man inherits 

Honor, or wealth, with all his worth and pains." 

" For shame, dear friend, renounce this canting strain. 

What wouldst thou that the great, good man obtain ? 

Place, title, salary, — a gilded chain ? 

Or throne on corpses which his sword has. slain ? 

Goodness and greatness are not means, but ends. 

Hath he not always treasures, always friends, 

The great, good man ? Three treasures, love, and light, 

And calm thoughts, regular as infant's breath ; 

And three true friends, more sure than day and night, — 

Himself, his Maker, and the angel Death." 

Coleridge. 



THE GOLDEN WEDDING. 

The German custom of observing a festival called the Silver 
Wedding, on the twenty-fifth anniversary of marriage, and a 
Golden Wedding on the fiftieth anniversary, have now become 
familiar to us by their frequent observance in this country. The 
following description of such an anniversary in Sweden is from 
the graceful pen of Fredrika Bremer, in her work entitled " The 
Neighbors." 




§f||) HERE was a patriarch and wife, and 



only to see that ancient, venerable 
couple made the heart rejoice. Tran- 
sit quillity was upon their brows, cheer- 
ful wisdom on their lips, and in their glance one 
read love and peace. For above half a century 
this ancient couple have inhabited the same house 
and the same rooms. There they were married, 
and there they are soon to celebrate their golden 
nuptials. The rooms are unchanged, the furni- 
ture the same it has been for fifty years ; but 
everything is clean, comfortable, and friendly, as 
in a one-year-old dwelling, though much more 
simple than the houses of our time. I know not 



THE GOLDEN WEDDING. 417 

what spirit of peace and grace it is which breathes 
upon me in this house ! Ah I in this house fifty 
years have passed as a beautiful day. Here a vir- 
tuous couple have lived, loved, and worked to- 
gether. Many a pure joy has blossomed here ; 
and when sorrow came, it was not bitter, for the 
fear of God and mutual love illuminated the dark 
clouds. Hence has emanated many a noble deed, 
and many a beneficent influence. Happy children 
grew up. They gathered strength from the exam- 
ple of their parents, went out into the world, built 
for themselves houses, and were good and fortu- 
nate. Often do they return to the parental home, 
to bless and to be blessed. 

A long life of integrity, industry, and benefi- 
cence has impressed itself on the father's expan- 
sive forehead, and on his frank, benevolent deport- 
ment. His figure is yet firm, and his gait steady. 
The lofty crown is bald, but the venerable head is 
surrounded by silver-white locks, like a garland. 
No one in the city sees this head without bowing 
in friendly and reverential greeting. The whole 
country, as well as the city, loves him as their 
benefactor, and venerates him as their patriarch. 
He has created his own fortune, and sacrificed 
much for the public good ; and notwithstanding 
much adversity and loss, he has never let his spirit 
sink. In mind and conversation he is still cheer- 
ful, full of jest and sprightliness. But for several 
years his sight has failed him greatly ; and at times 

18* AA 



418 THE GOLDEN WEDDING. 

the gout troubles his temper. But an angel moves 
round the couch to which suffermo; confines him ; 
his feet are moved and enwrapped by soft white 
hands ; the sick-chamber and the countenance of 
the old man grow bright before his orphan grand- 
child, Serena. 

In the ao;ed countenance and bowed form of the 
mother you see an old woman. But show her 
something beautiful, speak to her of something 
worthy of love, and her mien, her smile, beams 
from the eternal youth which dwells immortal in 
her sensitive spirit. Then you involuntarily ex- 
claim, u What beautiful age ! " If you sit near 
her, and look into her mild, pious eyes, you feel as 
if you could open your whole soul, and believe in 
every word she speaks, as in the Gospel. She has 
lived through much and experienced much ; yet 
she still says she will live in order to learn. Truly 
we must all learn from her. Her tone and man- 
ner betoken true politeness, and much knowledge 
of life. She alone has educated her children, and 
she still thinks and acts both for children and chil- 
dren's children. 

Will you see in one little circumstance a minia- 
ture picture of the whole? Every evening the 
old man himself roasts two apples ; every evening, 
when they are done, he gives one of them to his 
" handsome old wife," as he calls her. Thus for 
fifty years have they divided everything with each 
other. 



THE GOLDEN WEDDING. 419 

And now the day for their Golden Wedding 
has arrived. The whole city and country take an 
interest in it. It is as if all the people in the place 
were related to the old Dahls. The young people 
come from east and west, — Dahls here, Dahls 
there, brave men and handsome children. A 
swarm of cousins encounter one another at every 
step. Brotherships and friendships are concluded. 

If you wish to learn the true value of marriage, 
— if you wish to see what this union may be for 
two human hearts, and for life, — then observe, 
not the wedded ones in their honeymoon, nor by 
the cradle of their first child ; not at a time when 
novelty and hope yet throw a morning glory over 
the young and new-born world of home ; but sur- 
vey them, rather, in the more remote years of 
manhood, when they have proved the world and 
each other ; when they have conquered many an 
error, and many a temptation, in order to become 
only the more united to each other ; when labors 
and cares are theirs ; when, under the burden of 
the day, as well as in hours of repose, they sup- 
port one another, and find that they are sufficient 
for each other. Or survey them still farther in 
life. See them arrived at that period when the 
world, with all its changes and agitations, rolls 
far away from them ; when every object around 
becomes more dim to them ; when their house is 
still ; when they are solitary, yet they stand there 
hand in hand, and each reads in the other's eyes 



420 THE GOLDEN WEDDING. 

only love ; when they, with the same memories 
and the same hopes, stand on the boundaries of 
another life, into which they are prepared to enter, 
of all desires retaining only the one that they may 
die on the same day. Yes, then behold them ! 
And, on that account, turn now to the patriarchs, 
and to their Golden Wedding. 

There is, indeed, something worth celebrating, 
thought I, when I awoke in the morning. The 
sun seemed to be of the same opinion, for it shone 
brightly on the snow-covered roof of the aged 
pair. I wrapped myself in my cloak, and went 
forth to carry my congratulations to the old peo- 
ple, and to see if I could be helpful to Serena. 
The aged couple sat in the anteroom, clad in fes- 
tal attire, each in their own easy-chair. A large 
bouquet of fresh flowers and a hymn-book were 
on the table. The sun shone in through snow- 
white curtains. It was peaceful and cheerful in 
the room. The patriarch appeared, in the sunny 
light, as if surrounded by a glory. I offered my 
congratulations with emotion, and was embraced 
by them, as by a father and mother. " A lovely 
day, Madame Werner," said the old gentleman, 
as he looked toward the window. " Yes, beauti- 
ful indeed," I answered. " It is the feast of love 
and truth on the earth." The two old people 
smiled, and clasped each other's hands. 

There was great commotion in the hall, caused 
by the arrival of troops of children and grand- 



THE GOLDEN WEDDING. 421 

children, who all, in holiday garb, and with joy- 
ous looks, poured in to bring their wishes of hap- 
piness to the venerable parents. It was charming 
to see these groups of lovely children cling round 
the old people, like young saplings round aged 
stems. It was charming to see the little rosy 
mouths turned up to kiss, the little arms stretch- 
ing to embrace them, and to hear the clamor of 
loving words and exulting voices. 

I found Serena in the kitchen, surrounded by 
people, and dealing out viands ; for to-day the 
Dahls made a great distribution of food and 
money to the poor. Serena accompanied the gifts 
with friendly looks and words, and won blessings 
for her grandparents. 

• • • • • 

At eight in the evening, the wedding guests 
began to assemble. In the street where they 
lived the houses were illuminated in honor of the 
patriarchs, and lamps burned at the corners. A 
great number of people, with glad countenances, 
wandered up and down the street, in the still, 
mild winter evening. The house of the Dahls 
was thrown into the shade by the brilliancy of 
those in the neighborhood ; but there was light 
within. 

Serena met me at the door of the saloon. She 
wore a white garland in her light-brown hair. 
How charming she was in her white dress, with 
her kindly blue eyes, her pure brow, and the 



422 THE GOLDEN WEDDING. 

heavenly smile on her lips ! She was so friendly, 
so amiable, to everybody ! Friends and relatives 
arrived ; the rooms became filled. They drank 
tea, ate ices, and so on ; and then there fell at 
once a great silence. The two old people seated 
themselves in two easy-chairs, which stood near 
each other in the middle of the saloon, on a richly 
embroidered mat. Their children and their chil- 
dren's children gathered in a half-circle round 
them. A clergyman of noble presence stepped 
forward, and pronounced an oration on the beauty 
and holiness of marriage. He concluded with a 
reference to the life of the venerable pair, which 
was in itself a better sermon on the excellence of 
marriage, for the human heart, and for life, than 
was his speech, though what he said was true and 
touching. There was not a dry eye in the whole 
company. All were in a solemn, affectionate 
mood. 

Meantime, preparations for the festival were 
completed in the second story, to which the guests 
ascended. Here tableaux were presented, whose 
beauty and grace exceeded everything I had an- 
ticipated. The last one consisted of a well-ar- 
ranged group of all the descendants of the Dahls, 
during the exhibition of which a chorus was sung. 
The whole exhibition gave great and general pleas- 
ure. When the chorus ceased, and the curtain 
fell, the doors of the dance-saloon flew open ; a 
dazzling light streamed thence, and lively music 



THE GOLDEN WEDDING. 423 

set all the hearts and feet of the young people in 
lively motion. 

We sat talking pleasantly together, till supper 
was served, on various little tables, in three rooms. 
Lagman Hok raised his glass, and begged permis- 
sion to drink a toast. All were attentive. Then, 
fixing a mild, confident gaze on the patriarchs, he 
said, in a low voice : " Flowers and Harps were 
woven into the mat on which our honored friends 
this evening heard the words of blessing pro- 
nounced over them. They are the symbols of 
Happiness and Harmony ; and these are the Pe- 
nates of this house. That they surround you in 
this festive hour, venerable friends, we cannot re- 
gard as an accident. I seemed to hear them 
say, ' During your union you have so 
welcomed and cherished us, that 
we are at home here, and can 
never forsake you. Your 
age shall be like your 
youth ! ' " 



• The wisest man may be wiser to-day than he 
was yesterday, and to-morrow than he is to-day. 

Colton. 



THE WORN WEDDING RING. 

By W. C. BENNETT. 

YOUR wedding ring wears thin, dear wife. Ah, 
summers not a few, 
Since I put it on your finger first, have passed o'er me 

and you. 
And, love, what changes we have seen ! what cares and 

pleasures too ! 
Since you became my own dear wife, when this old 
ring was new. 

O blessings on that happy day, the happiest of my life, 
When, thanks to God, your low, sweet "Yes" made you 

my loving wife ! 
Your heart will say the same, I know ; that day 's as 

dear to you, 
The day that made me yours, dear wife, when this old 

ring was new. 

How well do I remember now your young, sweet face 

that day ! 
How fair you were, how dear you were, my tongue 

could hardly say ; 



THE WORN WEDDING RING. 425 

Nor how I doated on you. Ah, how proud I was of you ! 
But did I love you more than now, when this old ring 
was new ? 

No ! No ! no fairer were you then, than at this hour, to 

me ; 
And dear as life to me this day, how could you dearer 

be? 
As sweet your face might be that day as now it is, 't is 

true ; 
But did I know your heart as well, when this old ring 

was new ? 

O partner of my gladness, wife, what care, what grief, 

is there 
For me you would not bravely face? with me you 

would not share ? 
O, what a weary want had every day, if wanting you I 
Wanting the love that God made mine when this old 

ring was new ! 

Years bring fresh links to bind us, wife, — small voices 

that are here, 
Small faces round our fire that make their mother's yet 

more dear, 
Small, loving hearts, your care each day makes yet 

more like to you, 
More like the loving heart made mine when this old 

ring was new. 

And, blessed be God, all He has given are with us yet ; 

around 
Our table every little life lent to us still is found ; 



126 THE WORN WEDDING RING. 

Though cares we 've known, with hopeful hearts the 

worst we 've struggled through ; 
Blessed be His name for all His love since this old ring 

was new. 

The past is dear ; its sweetness still our memories treas- 
ure yet ; 

The griefs we 've borne, together borne, we would not 
now forget. 

Whatever, wife, the future brings, heart unto heart still 
true, 

We '11 share, as we have shared all, else, since this old 
ring was new. 

And if God spare us, 'mongst our sons and daughters to 

grow old, 
We know His goodness will not let your heart or mine 

grow cold. 
Your aged eyes will see in mine all they Ve still shown 

to you ; 
And mine in yours all they have seen since this old 

ring was new. ■ 

And O, when death shall come at last to bid me to my 

rest, 
May I die looking in those eyes, and resting on that 

breast ! 
O, may my parting gaze be blessed with the dear sight 

of vou ! 
Of those fond eyes, — fond as they were when this old 



ring was new. 



Chambers's Journal. 



HINTS ABOUT HEALTH. 



By L. MARIA CHILD. 




HERE are general rules of health, 
that cannot be too often repeated and 
urged, concerning which physicians 
£ of all schools are nearly unanimous. 
All who are acquainted with the physical laws 
of our being, agree that too much food is eaten. 
As far back as the twelfth century, the School 
of Salerno, the first Medical School established in 
Europe, published Maxims for Health, among 
which were the following : " Let these three things 
be your physicians ; cheerfulness, moderate re- 
pose, and diet." " Eat little supper, and you will 
sleep quietly." A few years ago, the celebrated 
French physician, Dumoulin, in his last illness, 
said to friends who were lamenting the loss of 
his medical services, " I shall leave behind me 
three physicians much greater than I am : water, 
exercise, and diet." 

The Rev. Sydney Smith says : " The longer I 



428 HINTS ABOUT HEALTH. 

live, the more I am convinced that half the un- 
happiness in the world proceeds from little stop- 
pages ; from a duct choked up, from food press- 
ing in the wrong place, from a vexed duodenum, 
or an agitated pylorus. The deception, as prac- 
tised upon human creatures, is curious and enter- 
taining. My friend sups late ; he eats some strong 
soup, then a lobster, then some tart, and he di- 
lutes these excellent varieties with wine. The 
next day I call upon him. He is going to sell 
his house in London, and to retire into the coun- 
try. He is alarmed for his eldest daughter's health. 
His expenses are hourly increasing, and nothing 
but a timely retreat can save him from ruin. All 
this is the lobster. Old friendships are some- 
times destroyed by toasted cheese, and hard salted 
meat has led to suicide. I have come to the 
conclusion that mankind consume twice too much 
food. According to my computation, I have eaten 
and drunk, between my tenth and seventieth 
year, forty-four horse-wagon loads more than was 
good for me." 

The example of Ludovicus Cornaro is a very 
striking proof of the advantages of abstinence. 
Modern physicians agree with him, that it is par- 
ticularly wise for people, as they grow older, to 
diminish the quantity of solid food. Little should 
be eaten, especially by those who do not exercise 
greatly; and that little should be light and nu- 
tritious. It is also important that food and sleep 
should be taken at regular intervals. 



HINTS ABOUT HEALTH. 429 

Early rising, and frequent, though not exces- 
sive exercise, are extremely conducive to good 
health and good spirits. There is now living in 
South Kingston, R. I., an old man, named Eben- 
ezer Adams, who is past ninety, and has never 
called upon a physician, or taken a single pre- 
scription, in his whole life. He has mowed every 
season for the last seventy-five years. The past 
summer he has raised with his own hands one 
hundred and thirty bushels of potatoes, and har- 
vested them himself; conveying them about three 
quarters of a mile, in a wheelbarrow, to his house. 
He has raised and harvested forty bushels of 
corn himself. He has mowed and put up, with- 
out the help of man or beast, six tons of hay. 
He hauled it on hay-poles of his own manufac- 
ture, and put it in the barn himself. He carries 
his corn two miles and a half, two bushels at a 
time, in a wheelbarrow, to the mill, himself. Rainy 
weather, and in winter, he is at work at his trade 
as a cooper. His uninterrupted health is doubtless 
mainly owing to constant exercise in the open air. 

The Rev. John Wesley, speaking of his re- 
markable freedom from fatigue amid the inces- 
sant labors of his old age, says : " I owe it to 
the goodness of God. But one natural cause un- 
doubtedly is my continual exercise, and change 
of air. How the latter contributes to health, I 
know not ; but it undoubtedly does." 

The Duke of Wellington, who retained his men- 



430 HINTS ABOUT HEALTH. 

tal and physical faculties, in a remarkable degree, 
to an advanced age, lived with so much simplicity, 
that a celebrated cook left his service on the plea 
that he had no opportunity to display his skill. 
He was in the habit of applying vigorous friction 
to all his body daily. He slept on his narrow, iron 
camp bedstead, and walked briskly, or rode on 
horseback, while other gentlemen were sleeping. 
He made no use of tobacco in any form. For 
many years he refrained from the use of wine, say- 
ing he found no advantage from it, and relinquished 
it for the sake of his health. 

The Hon. Josiah Quincy is a memorable ex- 
ample of vigorous old age. He has always been 
an early riser, and very active in his habits, both 
intellectual and physical. For many years, he has 
practised gymnastics fifteen minutes every morn- 
ins;, before dressing ; throwing his limbs about 
with an agility which few young men could sur- 
pass. Believing the healthy state of the skin to 
be of great importance, he daily applies friction to 
his whole body, by means of horse-hair gloves. 
He is temperate in his diet, and rarely tastes of 
wine. He is careful not to let his mind rust for 
want of use. He is always adding to his stock of 
knowledge, and he takes a lively interest in public 
affairs. He is now past ninety ; yet few have 
spoken so wisely and boldly as he has concerning 
the national emergencies which have been occurring 
during the last ten years. He profits by a hint he 



HINTS ABOUT HEALTH. 431 

received from the venerable John Adams, in answer 
to the question how he had managed to preserve 
the vigor of his mind to such an advanced age. 
" Simply by exercising it," replied Mr. Adams. 
" Old minds are like old horses ; you must exercise 
them if you wish to keep them in working order." 

A few years since, the Rev. Daniel Waldo ad- 
dressed the graduates at Yale College, on Com- 
mencement Day. In the course of his remarks, 
he said : "I am now an old man. I have seen 
nearly a century. Do you want to know how to 
grow old slowly and happily ? Let me tell you. 
Always eat slowly ; masticate well. Go to your 
food, to your rest, to your occupations, smiling. 
Keep a good nature and a soft temper everywhere. 
Never give way to anger. A violent tempest of 
passion tears down the constitution more than a 
typhus fever." 

Leigh Hunt says : " Do not imagine that 
mind alone is concerned in your bad spirits. The 
body has a great deal to do with these matters. 
The mind may undoubtedly affect the body ; but 
the body also affects the mind. There is a reac- 
tion between them ; and by lessening it on either 
side you diminish the pain of both. If you are 
melancholy, and know not why, be assured it must 
arise entirely from some physical weakness, and do 
your best to strengthen yourself. The blood of a 
melancholy man is thick and slow. The blood of 
a lively man is clear and quick. Endeavor, there- 



432 HINTS ABOUT HEALTH. 

fore, to put your blood in motion. Exercise is the 

best way to do it." 

The homelv old maxim, — 

" After breakfast, work a while ; 
After dinner, sit and smile ; 
After supper, walk a mile/' — 

contains a good deal of practical wisdom. Manual 
labor in the forenoon ; cheerful conversation, or 
music, after dinner ; a light supper, at five or six 
o'clock, and a pleasant walk afterward, will pre- 
serve health, and do much to restore it, if under- 
mined. A walk at any period of the day does the 
body twice as much good if connected with some 
object that interests the mind or heart. To walk 
out languidly into infinite space, merely to aid 
digestion, as rich epicures are wont to do, takes 
half the virtue out of exercise. 

An aged clergyman, who had never known a 
dav's illness, was asked how he accounted for it. 
He replied, " Dry feet and early rising have been 
my only precautions." In " Hall's Journal of 
Health " I find the following advice, of which I 
know the value by experience : " If you are well, 
let yourself alone. This is our favorite motto. 
But to you whose feet are inclined to be cold, we 
suggest that as soon as you get up in the morning, 
put your feet at once in a basin of cold water, so as 
to come half-way to the ankles ; keep them in half 
a minute in winter, or two minutes in summer, 
rubbing them both vigorously ; wipe dry, and hold 



HINTS ABOUT HEALTH. 433 

to the fire, if convenient, in cold weather, until 
every part of the foot feels as dry as your hand, 
then put on your socks or stockings. On going to 
bed at night, draw off your stockings, and hold the 
foot to the fire for ten or fifteen minutes, until per- 
fectly dry, and get right into bed. This is a most 
pleasant operation, and fully repays for the trouble 
of it. No one can sleep well or refreshingly with 
cold feet. Never step from your bed with the 
naked feet on an uncarpeted floor. I have known 
it to be the exciting cause of months of illness. 
Wear woollen, cotton, or silk stockings, whichever 
keep your feet most comfortable ; do not let the 
experience of another be your guide, for different 
persons require different articles ; what is good for 
a person whose feet are naturally damp, cannot be 
good for one whose feet are always dry." 

In Italy, and all the other grape-growing coun- 
tries of Europe, people have the habit of drinking 
wine with breakfast. Cornaro followed the gen- 
eral custom, and he recommends a moderate use 
of wine as essential to old people. But at that re- 
mote period there was less knowledge of the phys- 
ical laws than there now is. He confesses that 
he always found old wine very deleterious to him, 
and that for many years he never tasted any but 
new wine. Sir Walter Raleigh, who was born 
only ninety years later than Cornaro, gives the 
following sensible advice : " Except thou desire to 
hasten thy end, take this for a general rule : that 

19 BB 



434 HINTS ABOUT HEALTH. 

thou never add any artifical heat to thy body by 
wine or spice, until thou rind that time hath de- 
cayed thy natural heat ; and the sooner thou dost 
begin to help Nature, the sooner she will forsake 
thee, and leave thee to trust altogether to art." 

The late Dr. Warren, in his excellent little book 
on the " Preservation of Health," bears the follow- 
ing testimony : " Habitual temperance in regard to 
the quantity of food, regular exercise, and absti- 
nence from all stimulants except for medicinal pur- 
poses, would greatly diminish or obviate the evils 
of age. It is idle to say that men can and do live 
sometimes even to great age under the practice of 
various excesses, particularly under the use of 
stimulants. The natural and sufficient stimulus 
of the stomach is healthy food. Any stimulus 
more active produces an unnatural excitement, 
which will ultimately tell in the great account of 
bad habits. The old adage, 4 Wine is the milk 
of age,' is not supported by exact observation of 
facts. For more than twenty years I have had 
occasion to notice a great number of instances of 
the sudden disuse of wine without mischievous 
results. On the contrary, the disuse has generally 
been followed by an improvement of appetite, free- 
dom from habitual headache, and a tranquil state 
of body and mind. Those who have been educat- 
ed to the use of wine do, indeed, find some incon- 
venience from the substitution of a free use of 
water. If, however, they begin by taking the 



HINTS ABOUT HEALTH. 435 

pure fluid in moderate quantities only, no such 
inconvenience occurs. The preceding remarks 
may be applied to beer, cider, and other ferment- 
ed liquors. After the age of sixty, I myself gave 
up the habit of drinking wine ; and, so far from 
experiencing any inconvenience, I have found my 
health better without it than with it." 

Dr. Warren's exhortations against the use of 
tobacco are very forcible. He says : " The habit 
of smoking impairs the natural taste and relish for 
food, lessens the appetite, and weakens the powers 
of the stomach. Tobacco, being drawn in with 
the vital breath, conveys its poisonous influence 
into every part of the lungs. The blood, having 
imbibed the narcotic principle, circulates it through 
the whole system. Eruptions on the skin, weak- 
ness of the stomach, heart, and lungs, dizziness, 
headache, confusion of thought, and a low febrile 
action must be the consequence. Where there is 
any tendency to diseases of the lungs, the debility 
of these organs consequent on the smoking of to- 
bacco must favor the deposit of tuberculous mat- 
ter, and thus sow the seeds of consumption. 

" Snuff received into the nostrils enters the 
cavities opening from them, and makes a snuff- 
box of the olfactory apparatus. The voice is con- 
sequently impaired, sometimes to a remarkable 
degree. I knew a gentleman of the legal profes- 
sion who, from the use of snuff occasionally, lost 
the power of speaking audibly in court. More- 



436 HINTS ABOUT HEALTH. 

over, portions of this powder are conveyed into 
the lungs and stomach, and exert on those organs 
their deleterious effects. 

" The worst form in which tobacco is employed 
is in chewing. This vegetable is one of the most 
powerful of narcotics. A very small portion of it 
— say a couple of drachms, and perhaps even 
less — received into the stomach might prove fa- 
tal. When it is taken into the mouth in smaller 
portions, and there retained some time, an absorp- 
tion of part of it into the system takes place, which 
has a most debilitating effect. If we wished to 
reduce our physical powers in a slow yet certain 
way, we could not adopt a more convenient pro- 
cess. The more limited and local effects are indi- 
gestion, fixed pains about the region of the stom- 
ach, debility of the back, affections of the brain, 
producing vertigo, and also affections of the mouth, 
generating cancer." 

Too much cannot be said in favor of frequently 
washing the whole person in cold water, or, if not 
entirely cold in winter, at least as nearly so as it 
can be without producing a chill. It operates both 
as a purifier and a tonic. The health in all re- 
spects greatly depends upon keeping the pores of 
the skin open. Attacks of rheumatism might often 
be warded off by this habit. The washing should 
be in a warm room, and followed immediately by a 
smart rubbing with a coarse towel. 

When wounds, bruises, or cracks in the skin 



HINTS ABOUT HEALTH. 437 

become inflamed and feverish, there is no applica- 
tion better than a linen rag, doubled six or eight 
times, wet with cold water, and bound on with a 
thick, dry, cotton bandage, which completely cov- 
ers it. Inveterate sores will be healed by a repe- 
tition of this application. The same is true of 
sore throat ; but the wet cloth should be carefully 
and completely covered with dry woollen, so as to 
exclude the air. When removed, it should be 
done soon after one rises in the morning; the 
throat should then be plentifully sponged with 
cold water, and wiped thoroughly dry. There is 
danger of taking cold after the application of hot 
or warm water ; but it is not so with the use of 
cold water. 

It is a great preservation to the eyesight to 
plunge the face into cold water every morning, 
and wink the eyes in it while one counts thirty or 
forty. In order to do this, one must draw in the 
breath when about to plunge the head into the 
water, and hold the breath while it remains there. 
It seems difficult to do this at first, but it soon be- 
comes easy. It is well to repeat the operation six 
or eight times every morning. In cold weather, 
put in warm water enough to prevent a painful 
chill. 

Before retiring to rest, great care should be 
taken to remove every particle of food from be- 
tween the teeth with a tooth-pick of willow, or 
ivory, and cleanse the mouth very thoroughly by 



438 HINTS ABOUT HEALTH. 

the use of the brush, and rinsing. It is more ira- 
portant at night than in the morning ; because 
during sleep an active process of fermentation goes 
on, which produces decay. It is an excellent plan 
to hold a piece of charcoal in the mouth fre- 
quently. It arrests incipient toothache and de- 
cay, and tends to preserve the teeth by its antisep- 
tic properties. If chewed, it should not be swal- 
lowed, except occasionally, and in small quantities ; 
and it should never be rubbed on the teeth, as it 
injures the enamel. 

Old people are generally reluctant to admit that 
the present generation is wiser than the past ; but 
in one respect all must allow that there is obvious 
improvement. Far less medicine is taken than 
formerly; and more attention is paid to diet. 
Still, people by no means pay sufficient attention 
to the good old maxim, u An ounce of prevention 
is worth a pound of cure." Nature gives us 
kindly warnings, which we thoughtlessly neglect. 
When the head aches and the skin is hot, we often 
continue to eat hearty food, merely because we 
like the taste of it ; and the result of this impru- 
dence is a fever, which might have been easily 
and cheaply prevented by living two or three days 
on bread and water, or simple gruels. 

Fruits are among the best as well as the pleas- 
antest of remedies. Fresh currants agree with 
nearly all dyspeptics, and are excellent for people 
of feverish tendencies ; cranberries also. The 



HINTS ABOUT HEALTH. 489 

abundant use of apples is extremely conducive to 
health. The free use of grapes is said to cure 
liver-complaints, and to be in other respects salu- 
tary for the system. Linnaeus tells us that he was 
cured of severe rheumatism by eating strawber- 
ries, and that he afterward habitually resorted to 
them when he had an attack of that painful dis- 
ease. Captain Cook has also recorded, that when 
he touched at an island where strawberries were in 
great profusion, the crew, devoured them eagerly, 
and were cured of a scorbutic complaint, which 
had afflicted them greatly. Lemonade and oran- 
ges are recommended for rheumatism : vegetable 
acids in general being salutary for that disease. 
Mother Nature is much kinder to us than 
we are to ourselves. She loves to lead 
us gently, and the violent reactions 
from which we suffer we bring 
upon ourselves by violat- 
ing the laws she is con- 
stantly striving to 
teach us. 



" How shall I manage to be healthy?' said a 
wealthy invalid to the famous Dr. Abernethy. 
44 Live on sixpence a day, and earn it," was his 
laconic reply. 




THE INVALID'S PRAYER. 



OTHOU, whose wise, paternal love 
Hath cast my active vigor down, 
Thy choice I thankfully approve ; 

And, prostrate at Thy gracious throne, 
I offer up ray life's remains ; 
I choose the state my God ordains. 

Cast as a broken vessel by, 

Thy will I can no longer do ; 
But while a daily death I die, 

Thy power I can in weakness show ; 
My patience shall thy glory raise, 
My steadfast trust proclaim thy praise. 

Wesley. 



Trials make our faith sublime, 
Trials give new life to prayer, 

Lift us to a holier clime, 

Make us strong to do and bear. 



Cowpek. 




THE OLD PASTOR AND HIS SON, 



FROM THE GERMAN OF JEAN PAUL RICHTER. 




,N the little village of Heim, Gottreich 
Hartmann resided with his old father, 
who was a curate. The old man had 
wellnigh outlived all those whom he 
had loved, but he was made happy by his son. 
Gottreich discharged for him his duties in the 
parish, not so much in aid of his parent's un- 
tiring vigor, as to satisfy his own energy, and to 
give his father the exquisite gratification of being 
edified by his child and companion. 

In Gottreich there thrilled a spirit of true 
poetry ; and his father also had, in his youth, a 
poet's ardor, of like intensity, but it had not been 
favored by the times. Son and father seemed 
to live in one another ; and on the site of filial 
and paternal love there arose the structure of a 
rare and peculiar friendship. Gottreich not only 
cheered his father by the new birth of his own 
lost poet-youth, but by the still more beautiful 

19* 



442 THE OLD PASTOR AND HIS SON. 

similarity of their faith. The father found again 
his old Christian heart sending forth new shoots 
in the bosom of Gottreich, and moreover the best 
justification of the convictions of his life and of 
his love. 

If it be pain for us to love and to contradict 
at the same time, to refuse with the head what 
the heart grants, it is all the sweeter to us to 
find ourselves and our faith transplanted into a 
younger being. Life is then as a beautiful night, 
in which, as one star goes down, another rises 
in its place. Gottreich possessed a paradise, in 
which he labored as his father's gardener. He 
was at once the wife, the brother, the friend of 
his parent ; the all that is to be loved by man. 
Every Sunday brought him a new pleasure, — that 
of preaching a sermon before his father. If the 
eyes of the old man became moistened, or if he 
suddenly folded his hands in an attitude of prayer, 
that Sunday became the holiest of festivals. Many 
a festival has there been in that quiet little par- 
sonage, the joyfulness of which no one understood 
and no one perceived. The love and approba- 
tion of an energetic old man, like Hartmann, 
whose spiritual limbs had by no means stiffened 
on the chilly ridge of years, could not but ex- 
ercise a powerful influence on a young man like 
Gottreich, who, more tenderly and delicately 
formed both in body and mind, was wont to shoot 
forth in loftier and more rapid flame. 



THE OLD PASTOR AND HIS SON. 443 

To these two happy men was added a happy 
woman also. Justa, an orphan, sole mistress of 
her property, had sold the house which had been 
her father's in the city, and had removed into 
the upper part of a good peasant's cottage, to 
live entirely in the country. Justa did nothing 
by halves ; she often did things more than com- 
pletely, as most would think at least, ii. all that 
touched her generosity. She had not long re- 
sided in the village of Heim, and seen the meek 
Gottreich, and listened to some of his spring- 
tide sermons, ere she discovered that he had won 
her heart, filled as it was with the love of virtue. 
She nevertheless refused to give him her hand 
until the conclusion of the great peace, after 
which they were to be married. She was ever 
more fond of doing; what is difficult than what 
is easy. I wish it were here the place to tell 
of the May-time life they led, which seemed to 
blossom in the low parsonage-house, near the 
church-door, under Justa's hand ; how she came 
from her own cottage, in the morning, to order 
matters in the little dwelling for the day ; how 
the evenings were passed in the garden, orna- 
mented with a few pretty flower-beds, and com- 
manding a view of many a well-watered meadow, 
and distant hill, and stars without number ; how 
these three hearts played into one another, no 
one of which, in this most pure and intimate in- 
tercourse, knew or felt anvthing which was not 



444 THE OLD PASTOR AND HIS SON. 

of the fairest ; and how cheerfulness and good in- 
tention marked the passage of their lives. Every 
bench was a church seat, all was peaceful and 
holy, and the firmament above was an infinite 
church-dome. 

In many a village and in many a house is hid- 
den a true Eden, which has neither been named 
nor marked down ; for happiness is fond of cover- 
ing over and concealing her tenderest flowers. 
Gottreich reposed in such tenderness of love and 
bliss, of poetry and religion, of spring-time, of the 
past and of,the future, that, in the depths of his 
heart, he feared to speak out his happiness, save in 
prayer. In prayer, thought he, man may say all 
his happiness and his misery. His father was very 
happy also. There came over him a warm old 
age ; no winter night, but a summer evening 
without chill or darkness ; albeit the sun of his 
life was sunk pretty deep below the mound of 
earth under which his wife was lain down to sleep. 

In these sweetest May-hours of youth, when 
heaven and earth and his own heart were beating 
together in triune harmony, Gottreich gave ar- 
dent words to his ardent thoughts, and kept them 
written down, under the title of " Reminiscences 
of the best Hours of Life, for the Hour of Death." 
He meant to cheer himself, in his last hours, with 
these views of his happy life ; and to look back, 
through them, from the glow of his evening to the 
bright morning of his youth. 



THE OLD PASTOR AND HIS SON. 445 

Thus lived these three beings, ever rejoicing 
more deeply in one another, and in their genial 
happiness, when the chariots of war began to roll 
over the land.* Gottreich became another man. 
The active powers of his nature, which had here- 
tofore been the quiet audience of his poetical and 
oratorical powers, now arose. It seemed as if the 
spirit of energy, which hitherto had wasted itself 
on empty air, like the flames of a bituminous soil, 
were now seeking an object to lay hold of. He 
did not venture to propose separating from his 
father, but he alternately refreshed and tormented 
himself inwardly with the idea of sharing the labors 
and combats of his countrymen. He confided his 
wishes to Justa only ; but she did not give him 
encouragement, because she feared the old man's 
solitude would be too great for him to bear. But 
at last the old man himself became inspirited for 
the war, by Gottreich and his betrothed ; and he 
said to his son that he had better go ; that he 
knew he had long desired it, and had only been 
silent through love for him. He hoped, with 
God's aid, to be able to discharge his pastoral 
duties for a year, and thus he also would be 
doing something to serve his country. 

Gottreich departed, trusting to the autumnal 
strength of his father's life. He enlisted as a com- 
mon soldier, and preached also wherever he was 

* The war of 1813, against Napoleon, to secure the indepen- 
dence of Germany. 



446 THE OLD PASTOR AND HIS SON. 

able. The entrance on a new career awakens 
new energies and powers, which rapidly unfold 
into life and vigor. Although fortune spared him 
the wounds which he would willingly have brought 
back with him into the peaceful future of his life, 
in memory of the focus of his youth, as it were, 
yet it was happiness enough to take part in the 
battles, and, like an old republican, to fight to- 
gether with a whole nation, for the common cause. 

At length, in the beautiful month of May, the 
festivals of victory and peace began in more than 
one nation ; and Gottreich was unwilling to pass 
those days of rejoicing so far from the friends who 
were dearest to him. He Ion ere d for their com- 
pany, that his joy might be doubled ; so he took 
the road to Heim. Thousands at that time jour- 
neyed over the liberated land, from a happy past 
to a happy future. But there were few who saw, 
like Gottreich, so pure a firmament over the moun- 
tains of his native valleys, in which not a star was 
missing, but every one of them was bright and 
twinkling. Justa had, from time to time, sent 
him the little annals of the parsonage. She had 
written how she longed for his return, and how his 
father rejoiced ; how well the old man stood the 
labors of his office ; and how she had still better 
secrets in store for him. To these belonged, per- 
haps, her promise, which he had not forgotten, to 
give him her hand after the great peace. 

With such prospects before him, Gottreich ever 



THE OLD PASTOR AND HIS SON. 447 

enjoyed in thought that holy evening when he 
should see the sun go down at Heim, — when he 
should arrive unexpectedly, to relieve the old man 
from all his cares, and begin to prepare the tran- 
quil festivities of the village. As he was thinking 
of that day's meeting, when he should clasp those 
fond hearts to his own, and as the mountains above 
his father's village were seen more and more clear- 
ly in relief against the blue sky, the Reminiscences 
of the best hours of life, which he had written for 
the hour of death, echoed and re-echoed in his 
soul ; and, as he went along, he dwelt particularly 
upon one among them, which commemorated the 
joy of meeting again here below. 

A shower was coming up behind him, of which 
he seemed to be the happy messenger ; for the 
parched ground, the drooping flowers, and the 
ears of corn had long been thirsting for water 
from the warm clouds. A parishioner of Heim, 
who was laboring in the fields, saluted him as he 
passed, and expressed joy that Gottreich and the 
rain had both come at last. Soon he caught sight 
of the low church-steeple, peeping above the clus- 
tered trees ; and he entered upon that tract in the 
valley where the parsonage lay, all reddened by 
the evening sun. At every window he hoped to 
see his betrothed one, thinking perchance she 
might be looking out on the sunset before the 
storm came on. As he drew nearer, he hoped to 
see the lattice open, and Whitsuntide-brooms in 



448 THE OLD PASTOR AND HIS SON. 

the chief apartment ; but he v saw nothing of all 
this. 

At last, he quietly entered the parsonage-house, 
and slowly opened the well-known door. The 
room was empty, but he heard a noise overhead. 
When he entered the chamber, it was filled with a 
glow from the west, and Justa was kneeling by the 
bed of his father, who was sitting half upright, and 
looking, with a stiff, haggard countenance, toward 
the setting sun before him. One exclamation, and 
a clasp of her lover to her breast, was all his re- 
ception. His father stretched out his withered 
hand slowly, and said, with difficulty, " Thou art 
come at the right time " ; but without adding 
whether he spoke of the preachings, or alluded to 
their approaching separation. Justa hastily related 
how the old man had overworked himself, till body 
and spirit had given way together, so that he no 
longer took a share in anything, though he longed 
to be with the sharers ; and how he lay prostrate, 
with broken wings, looking upward, like a helpless 
child. The old man had grown so hard of hear- 
ing, that she could say all this in his presence. 

Gottreich would fain have infused into that old 
and once strong heart the fire of victory which was 
reflected in his own bosom ; but he heard neither 
wish nor question of it. The old man continued 
to gaze steadily upon the setting sun, and at last 
it was hidden by the storm-clouds. The landscape 
grew dark, the winds stood pent, and the earth 



THE OLD PASTOR AND HIS SON. 449 

was oppressed. Suddenly there came a gush of 
rain and a crash of thunder. The lightning flashed 
around the old man. He looked up, altered and 
astonished. " Hist ! " he said ; " I hear the rain 
once more. Speak qtfickly, children, for I shall 
soon depart ! ' Both his children clung to him, 
but he was too weak to embrace them. 

And now warm, refreshing fountains from the 
clouds bathed all the sick earth, from the dripping 
trees to the blades of grass. The sky glistened 
mildly, as with tears of joy, and the thunder went 
rumbling away behind the distant mountains. 
The sick man pointed upward, and said : " Seest 
thou the majesty of God ? My son, now, in my 
last hour, strengthen my weary soul with some- 
thing holy, — something in the spirit of love, and 
not of penance ; for if our hearts condemn us not, 
then have we confidence toward God. Say some- 
thing to me rich in love of God and of his 
works." 

The eyes of the son overflowed, to think that 
he should read at the death-bed of his father those 
Reminiscences which he had prepared for his own. 
He said this to him, but the old man answered, 
" Hasten, my son ! " And, with faltering voice, 
Gottreich beo;an to read : — - 

" Remember, in thy dark hour, those times 
when thou hast prayed to God in ecstasy, and 
when thou hast thought on him, the Infinite One ; 
the greatest thought of finite man." 

CO 



450 THE OLD PASTOR AND HIS SON. 

Here the old man clasped his hands, and prayed 
low. 

" Hast thou not known and felt the existence of 
that Being, whose infinity consists not only in his 
power, his wisdom, and his eternity, but also in 
his love, and in his justice ? Canst thou forget 
the time when the blue sky, by day and by night, 
opened on thee, as if the mildness of God was 
looking down on thee? Hast thou not felt the 
love of the Infinite, when he veiled himself in 
his image, the loving hearts of men ; as the sun, 
which reflects its light not on the moon only, but 
on the morning and evening star also, and on 
every little twinkler, even the farthest from our 
earth ? 

" Canst thou forget, in the dark hour, that there 
have been mighty men among us, and that thou 
art following after them ? Raise thyself, like the 
spirits who stood upon their mountains, having the 
storms of life only about them, never above them ! 
Call back to thee the kingly race of sages and 
poets, who have inspirited and enlightened nation 
after nation ! " 

" Speak to me of our Redeemer," said the fa- 
ther. 

u Remember Jesus Christ, in the dark hour. 
Remember him, who also passed through this life. 
Remember that soft moon of the Infinite Sun, 
given to enlighten the night of the world. Let 
life be hallowed to thee, and death also ; for he 



THE OLD PASTOR AND HIS SON. 451 

shared both of them with thee. May his calm 
and lofty form look down on thee in the last dark- 
ness, and show thee his Father." 

A low roll of thunder was heard from clouds 
which the storm had left. Gottreich continued to 
read : — 

" Remember, in the last hour, how the heart of 
man can love. Canst thou forget the love where- 
with one heart repays a thousand hearts, and the 
soul during a whole life is nourished and vivified 
from another soul ? Even as the oak of a hun- 
dred years clings fast to the same spot, with its 
roots, and derives new strength, and sends forth 
new buds during its hundred springs ? " 

" Dost thou mean me ? ' said the father. 

" I mean my mother also," replied the son. 

The father, thinking on his wife, murmured very 
gently, " To meet again. To meet again." And 
Justa wept while she heard how her lover would 
console himself in his last hours with the reminis- 
cence of the days of her love. 

Gottreich continued to read : " Remember, in 
the last hour, that pure being with whom thy life 
was beautiful and great ; with whom thou hast 
wept tears of joy ; with whom thou hast prayed 
to God, and in whom God appeared unto thee ; in 
whom thou didst find the first and last heart of 
love ; — and then close thine eyes in peace ! ' 

Suddenly, the clouds were cleft into two huge 
black mountains ; and the sun looked forth from 



452 THE OLD PASTOR AND HIS SON. ' 

between them, as it were, out of a valley between 
buttresses of rock, gazing upon the earth with 
its joy-glistening eye. 

"See!" said the dying man. "What a glow!" 

" It is the evening sun, father." 

" This day we shall see one another again," 
murmured the old man. He was thinking of his 
wife, long since dead. 

The son was too deeply moved to speak to 
his father of the blessedness of meeting again in 
this world, which he had enjoyed by anticipation 
during his journey. Who could have courage 
to speak of the joys of an earthly meeting to one 
whose mind was absorbed in the contemplation 
of a meeting in heaven ? 

Gottreich, suddenly startled, asked, " Father, 
what ails thee ? " 

" I do think thereon ; and death is beautiful, 
and the parting in Christ," murmured the old 
man. He tried to take the hand of Gottreich, 
which he had not strength to press. He repeated, 
more and more distinctly and emphatically, " O 
thou blessed God ! ' until all the other luminaries 
of life were extinguished, and in his soul there 
stood but the one sun, God ! 

At length he roused himself, and, stretching forth 
his arm, said earnestly, " There ! there are three 
fair rainbows over the evening sun ! I must go 
after the sun, and pass through them with him." 
He sank backward, and was gone. 



THE OLD PASTOR AND HIS SON. 453 

At that moment the sun went down, and a 
broad rainbow glimmered in the east. 

" He is gone," said Gottreich, in a voice choked 
with grief. "But he has gone from us unto his 
God, in the midst of great, pious, and unmingled 
joy. Then weep no more, Justa." 



His youth was innocent ; his riper age 

Marked with some act of goodness every day ; 

And, watched by eyes that loved him, calm and sage, 
Faded his late declining years away. 

Cheerful he gave his being up, and went 

To share the holy rest that waits a life well spent 

That life was happy. Every day he gave 
Thanks for the fair existence that was his ; 

For a sick fancy made him not her slave, 
To mock him with her phantom miseries. 

No chronic tortures racked his aged limbs, 

For luxury and sloth had nourished none for him. 

• 

Why weep ye, then, for him, who, having won 
The bound of man's appointed years, at last, 

Life's blessings all enjoyed, life's labors done, 
Serenely to his final rest has passed, — 

While the soft memory of his virtues yet 

Lingers, like twilight hues when the bright sun is set? 

W. C. Bryant. 



REST AT EVENING. 

By ADELAIDE A. PROCTER. 

WHEN the weariness of life is ended, 
And the task of our long day is done, 
And the props, on which our hearts depended, 

All have failed, or broken, one by one ; 
Evening and our sorrow's shadow blended, 
Telling us that peace has now begun. 

How far back will seem the sun's first dawning, 
And those early mists so cold and gray ! 

Half forgotten even the toil of morning, 
And the heat and burden of the day. 

Flowers that we were tending, and weeds scorning, 
All alike, withered and cast away. 

Vain will seem the impatient heart, that waited 
Toils that gathered but too quickly round ; 

And the childish joy, so soon elated 

At the path we thought none else had found ; 

And the foolish ardor, soon abated 

By the storm which cast us to the ground. 



REST AT EVENING. 



455 



Vain those pauses on the road, each seeming 
As our final home and resting-place ; 

And the leaving them, while tears were streaming 
Of eternal sorrow down our face ; 

And the hands we held, fond folly dreaming 
That no future could their touch efface. 

All will then be faded : Night will borrow 
Stars of light to crown our perfect rest ; 

And the dim vague memory of faint sorrow 
Just remain to show us all was best ; 

Then melt into a divine to-morrow : 
O, how poor a day to be so blest ! 




Cambridge : Stereotyped and Printed by Welch, Bigelow, & Co.